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Te’o wins Walter Camp Player of the Year

Dec 6, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

Manti Te'o

For those keeping track, it’s been a big week for Irish All-American linebacker Manti Te’o. If a 12-0 season and a date in the national championship game weren’t enough reasons to validate coming back for his senior season, Te’o just became the fourth Notre Dame player to be named the Walter Camp Player of the Year, joining Ken MacAfee, Tim Brown, and Raghib Ismail.

“Manti Te’o’s performance on and off the football field has made him an outstanding recipient of the Walter Camp Player of the Year award,” Walter Camp Football Marks said in a statement. “His consistency, leadership, and perseverance have been trademarks of the Fighting Irish’s outstanding 2012 season.”

To recap a week filled with kudos for Te’o:

Butkus Award, Best linebacker.
Nagurski Award, Best defensive player.
Lombardi Award, Best lineman or linebacker.
Walter Camp Award, National player of the year.

Interestingly, The Walter Camp is voted on by 124 football head coaches and sports information directors, quite a different allotment than the Heisman Trophy. Te’o beat out finalists Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M quarterback, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.

Te’o is just the third defensive player to ever earn the honor, joining former Pitt defensive end Hugh Green (1980) and Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson, who won in 1997.

  1. bernhtp - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    A big congrats to Manti. He’s really raking in the hardware. One big one to go.

    The bit he did with Lee Corso on ESPN was a bit hokey, though.

  2. dickasman - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    More importantly, he’s a Dick Asman player of the year.

  3. kiopta1 - Dec 6, 2012 at 8:49 PM

    He needs a hall to hold all the trophy cases that hold all his trophies.

    • bernhtp - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      This reminds me of the Roger Federer commercial where he pulls a wagon filled with trophies to load onto his Netjet.

  4. bernhtp - Dec 6, 2012 at 9:42 PM

    The ESPN award ceremony has been a huge night for the Irish. Not only the players and coaches winning all over the place, but even Ara got a long spot in his recognition.

    Other parts of the show were painful. For example, the punter accepting his reward thanked his coach with words something like “… he made a detrimental impact on me and my success.” I’m hoping he was just nervous as opposed to not knowing what detrimental means.

    • heisenbyrg - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Yeah that punter elicited a cringe from me too. Had to be the nerves though. ESPN awards shows always make for a night of weird TV.

  5. cam2ham - Dec 6, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    A Heisman and crystal ball would be a nice addition

    • heisenbyrg - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      More than anything, this video reminded me what a clusterf*** last year was. My god.

    • runners00 - Dec 7, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      Great video. It’s an amazing resurgence.

  6. papadec - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    WOW – HOT DAMN! He deserves ALL the recognition he gets.

  7. newmexicoirish - Dec 6, 2012 at 11:16 PM


    Clearly this is a venue these kids are not used to. I was pretty impressed with their ability to answer the incredilby inane questions posed by people who are used to being in front of a camera. Nevertheless, it was a great night for Notre Dame – congratulations to Manti, Tyler, and Coach Kelly.

    I’m quite certain we will be talking about the impact Manti Teo has had on the Irish football program for many years to come.


  8. mtflsmitty - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    Bern, Not only did the winning punter make the gaff you mention, but he also wiped his nose immediately before shaking Ray Guy’s hand. Given the rich cultural influence of Muncie, IN I guarantee the Ball State kid would have represented far better.

    • thefightinfloyds - Dec 7, 2012 at 12:41 AM

      I detect sarcasm. As a transplanted… Munciean? Muncieite? (and no I dont chew on a stalk of grass or wear a straw hat)… I have to say I was suprised and proud to see a member of the fightin’ cardinals recognized nationally. Congrats to Kelly, Diaco, Eifert and of course Teo. Cant wait for the game, go Irish!

  9. yaketyyacc - Dec 7, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    STILL! how does that Biblical saying go? What doth it profit a man, if he gains all te awards and trophies on earth, and loses the National Championship.

    • bernhtp - Dec 7, 2012 at 9:06 AM

      Nothing is as important as the championship game, but don’t diminish the achievement of all of these awards. They were earned through a tremendous amount of work and dedication. They are a reflection of how far we have come in such a short time even if somehow Alabama cheats us out of the title.

  10. yogihilt - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    After following the 2 awards for almost 50 years, I’ve always felt the Maxwell had a better voting group. The Heisman has almost 900 sportswrtiers/casters vote, plus past winners, and the Maxwell includes a smaller group of media, and adds the football coaches in the BCS group, plus an exclusive Maxwell group. The Heisman usually follows the glitz, while the Maxwell almost always gets the best player. Let’s hope the Heisman follows suit with the Maxwell. Congrats, and let’s finish this right, all the way to the ‘Chip”.

  11. runners00 - Dec 7, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    That’s some hardware right there. Congratulations! This is a big win for Manti and it’s, honestly, an amazing upset.

    You know, Keith’s column about how the system is broken is so telling. The system is broken in part because big media favor these conference members to such a great extent. Picking the best college player in a given season is an extremely difficult task. But Manti Te’o, as the leader of the best defense in college football and as someone who had over 100 tackles and seven interceptions, has to be considered one of the best players in college football. Yet, there we were watching the SEC championship on CBS with the guys talkin about how Johnny Football deserves the hardware because he had more total yards than Tebow. I mean, really? That is the standard? Simply because he was the best SEC quarterback?

    I don’t know that Manziel is the SEC’s best quarterback. Manziel was 273/400 for 3419 yards. Those are great numbers but he also had eight INTs against 24 TDs. He also scrambled for 1100 yards, almost a hundred yards per game. These are strong numbers, to be sure, but look at Alabama’s quarterback. AJ McCarron had 26 TDs against just 3 INTs. He threw the ball less often — 191/286 for 2669, but this is a function of Alabama’s stellar running game. When McCarron threw the ball, he was very successful, which explains his 173 QB Rating (to Manziel’s 155 rating). Manziel’s style — the fact that he can run and throw at any given moment — is huge. But in the big games – against Florida, for example, or against LSU – he struggled. I’m not saying he didn’t have a great season. Of course he did. But, I don’t think it’s so clear-cut that he is the country’s best player.

    On the other hand, as I suggest above, Te’o is the leader of a defense that has dominated every opponent all season long. Look at the Oklahoma game, probably our biggest win of the season. There was Te’o, coming up with the big interception at a key moment. He had his best game against his biggest opponent. The same is true with Stanford, where Te’o had a great performance with 11 tackles and a very memorable goal line stand.

    I mean, college football isn’t what it used to be. Teams like Texas A&M play maybe three or four difficult opponents all season. Our schedule was fine — with Michigan, Stanford, Oklahoma and Southern Cal probably comprising the toughest opponents. But we also played decent teams like BYU, Pitt and Navy. We don’t have La Tech or Ark. State or Western Carolina this year. Yes, Wake was pretty weak. BC wasn’t good. But Te’o played well in all of the games and did exceptionally well in the big games. So, to me, given that the guys are fairly close, the Heisman belongs to Te’o.

    • papadec - Dec 7, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      runner – too bad you don’t get to vote – you spent the time to really analyze the top candidates.

  12. smcgaels1997 - Dec 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Unfortunately the media has anointed Manziel the Heisman and its such a rediculously biased always towards offense the minions will do they are told

  13. onlynd - Dec 7, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Wow…totally inspiring…even the look back – and then beginning all the way through the end. What a fantastic player and guy. Manti and the Irish have come a long way. AWESOME!!! Thanks for this!!

  14. audiguy - Dec 7, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    The only reason ” Johnny football ” has a chance is just that…….in the name. The media loves it. Most folks couldn’t pronounce Manti’s name until the Oklahoma game. The ND propaganda machine started to late unfortunately

    • ndirish10 - Dec 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

      And that’s only because ND would rather have Te’o’s work on and off the field speak for itself (as it should be). Hiring ESPN propaganda advisers to promote “Johnny Football” soon after the ‘Bama game is the road Texas A&M decided to take, more power to them. In the end Manti may be seen as more valuable to the Irish, as an overall well-rounded, well-respected human being and exceptional football player and worth more to any NFL team than SEC Johnny “Football”-if Johnny makes it-(keep in mind the circus surrounding Tim Tebow, and head case Cam Newton).

      Go Irish! GO HEISMANTI!!

  15. jerseyshorendfan1 - Dec 7, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    Too bad there’s no way to make Teo rhyme with Theisman. Manziel is a red shirt frosh who has the chance to win it for 3 more years. Give it to Manti and let Johnny Football go get another fake ID or something.

  16. bills4 - Dec 8, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    He’s good but I’d take Manzel any day of the week!

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