Sunday, December 9, 2012
Notre Dame's Te'o wins Butkus Award
1:40 p.m. CST, December 3, 2012
Manti Te'o won the first-ever high school Butkus Award four years ago.
He can now add the college version to the mantel.
The Notre Dame linebacker was named winner of the Butkus Award on Monday, outdistancing Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Alabama's C.J. Mosley.
The award goes to the top linebacker in the nation and is selected by a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists coordinated by Pro Football Weekly. Te'o finished 2012 with 103 tackles and seven interceptions for the nation's No. 1 scoring defense.
"Manti Te’o embodies the toughness, intensity, competitiveness and on-field demeanor of a throwback performer like Dick Butkus himself," Pro Football Weekly publisher Hub Arkush said in a statement announcing the honor.
"Te’o was the first ever High School Butkus winner (2008), and he has lived up to all the expectations and positioned his team for a chance at the national championship. He has been an inspiration to his team and community, and has serves as a model citizen."
A bigger award could loom on his horizon Monday: Te'o is likely to be named a Heisman Trophy finalist later in the day.