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Te’o wins Butkus Award (Jaylon Smith does too)

Dec 3, 2012, 2:49 PM EDT

Irish linebacker Te'o follows the play against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during their NCAA college football game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend

After shedding 15 pounds in the offseason to help make him a faster player, Manti Te’o better be careful. On the banquet circuit, the pounds pile on pretty quickly.

Te’o, on the first stop of an awards tour that’ll pile plenty of kudos on Notre Dame’s middle linebacker, was awarded the 28th annual Butkus Award today for being the nation’s top linebacker. He received a congratulatory phone call from the legendary linebacker himself today and will receive the award on December 17th back on campus at Notre Dame.

Te’o’s senior season, where he tallied 103 tackles and had seven interceptions as he led the Irish to a 12-0 record, was good enough to have him selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts, journalists, and recruits as the winner with 83 points. He finished ahead of Georgia’s Jarvis Jones (54), C.J. Mosley of Alabama (21), Kevin Winter  of LSU and Dion Jordan of Oregon.

“Manti Te’o embodies the toughness, intensity, competitiveness and on-field demeanor of a throwback performer like Dick Butkus himself,” said Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly in a statement. “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 serves as a model citizen.”

Making the Butkus Award a truly Notre Dame affair, Irish commit Jaylon Smith was awarded the high school Butkus Award, with the five-star Bishop Luers linebacker also getting a phone call from Butkus to receive the good news. At 6-foot-3, 220-pounds, Smith led his high school team to another state championship, carrying the offensive load as a running back while also starring at linebacker, a position he’ll play in South Bend.

“Jaylon Smith distinguished himself on the field and in the classroom. Already committed to Notre Dame, Smith has been a part of four state championship teams. He was a dominant two-way performer with the talent to follow in Te’o’s footsteps,” said Arkush in a press release.

The Butkus Award honors the best linebacker in the country, but also emphasizes the work players do off the field.

  1. 1notredamefan - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    1 Down… 1 big one to go…

    • yogihilt - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:10 PM

      Don’t forget the Maxwell.. a very prestigious award, and voted away from the hype

  2. 1notredamefan - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Congratulations to the best human being on the college football field today!!!

  3. North of Denver - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Regardless of the number of awards he wins, they cannot come close to reflecting the kind of person he is and the team he leads.

    Nonetheless, congratulations to both. Well deserved.

  4. nudeman - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:22 PM

    Congratulations Manti. Well deserved.

    BTW, how much weight did he really lose?
    At the beginning of the year I heard 5 lbs. Then I specifically remember during the Oklahoma game Herbie saying 10 lbs.

    Now it’s 15?? OK

    By the time the Bama game is played, what’s the over/under? 50lbs? 80?

    • dickasman - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:00 PM

      Best linebacker to date at nd…better than my personal favorite mike stonebreaker!!! I remember the good ol days when I said he needs to lose some weight n all the geezers in their tightly whities tossed their dentures n depends my way. Where are those losers today I wonder?

      See good things happen to thy those who listen to me. Now go kick some sizzurp sippin toothless hillbilly azz!

    • domer77blowsgoats - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:24 PM

      Jesus nude can’t celebrate a monumental award without the bs?

      I know I know too much Manti hype!!

    • papadec - Dec 4, 2012 at 12:49 AM

      nude – I don’t know where you heard all those different numbers – 15 # is the only number I heard all year.

  5. matreyu13 - Dec 3, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    So it’s a Notre Dame sweep of the 2012 Butkus Awards!!! Nice.
    Go Irish

  6. 808raiderinparadise - Dec 3, 2012 at 4:08 PM


    BEAT Alabama !!!

  7. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Congrats to both, well done boys. I thought we were Tight End U. Did somebody say Linebacker U?

  8. frankshiel - Dec 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Can’t believe there is another one like Manti and we (ND) got him. What a great future for him and the Irish.

    • dickasman - Dec 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Yeah, really not to mention that we are looking really good with EEOC!

      • jimpy49 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:37 PM


        You are a DINK

  9. ndirish10 - Dec 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    Congratulations to both!! Manti wishing you the best this Saturday!

  10. kiopta1 - Dec 3, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Add the nagurski.

  11. yaketyyacc - Dec 4, 2012 at 5:06 AM

    all I can do is echo so many good words and so deserving about an exceptional young man, Manti T’eo. You are becomong the personification of what it means to be a great college football player, and to say that you are a Notre Dame Man, also, gives us pause to be humble and thankful.
    The Butkus and Nargursky and to be [art of the Heisman is a remarkable achievement. They have to have one more, THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP! Go T’eo, Go Irish!

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