Dec. 10, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - University of Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o captured the 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy at the annual awards banquet in Newport Beach, Calif., Sunday night.
Te'o is a 6-2, 255-pound senior from Laie, Hawaii, who led the Irish in tackles each of the last three seasons, including 103 this year when Notre Dame went undefeated and was ranked No. 1 in the country.
It was the seventh national award for Te'o in a week, making him the most decorated player in college football history.
The other finalists for the award were Arthur Brown of Kansas State, Jarvis Jones of Georgia and Chase Thomas of Stanford.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The Lott Trophy is the only college football award where character counts. The student-athlete must be making an IMPACT on the field as well as off the field in such areas as academics, community and leadership. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Notre Dame will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund in recognition of Te'o's achievement. Each of the runnerups schools received $5,000.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice was the keynote speaker at the event.
The IMPACT Trophy is sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach.
In nine years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $400,000 to universities throughout the country and nearly $1 million to all charities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the IMPACT Foundation, the IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisors and former college coaches and players.
Past winners of The Lott IMPACT Trophy:
2004 - David Pollack, Georgia
2005 - DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 - Dante Hughes, California
2007 - Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 - James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
2009 - Jerry Hughes, TCU
2010 - J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
2011 - Luke Kuechly, Boston College
2012 - Manti Te'o, Notre Dame