Sunday, October 7, 2012

Notre Dame LB Manti Te’o is a Legitimate Heisman Trophy Contender Justin Burnette | October 7, 2012 |

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish dominated the Miami Hurricanes in a win 41-3 win with the help of All-American linebacker Manti Te’o (6-2 255).

The recent performance by Te’o on the field and the personal difficulties that he has suffered off the field has vaulted him into the discussion as a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender. According to Sports Illustrated, he is named after a warrior in The Book of Mormon. He has been nothing less than a valid warrior for the Fighting Irish in every way.

Two close individuals to Te’o died just hours apart three days before the Michigan State game; he lost his grandmother to natural causes and his girlfriend to leukemia. Despite the tragic news, Te’o did not miss any games as a result. He kept playing on as his loved ones who passed away would have wanted him to do.

The senior linebacker has evolved into a well rounded defender. He had three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and 38 tackles in four games coming into the Miami match up. The Irish held the Hurricanes to a total of 285 yards on offense. For the season, Te’o and the Notre Dame defense are allowing just 7.8 points per game.

Te’o was fourth in the Heisman Trophy race before the week began, according to the latest Heismanpundit/ Straw Poll. If Notre Dame keeps dominating and Te’o maintains his output, voters won’t be able to keep him out of New York in December.

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