Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was a big winner at Thursday’s College Football Awards Show.
Te’o passed Michigan great and 1997 Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson for the most individual honors in a single season with six. Among the additions to Te’o’s trophy case is the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top overall player. A defender had not won the award since Pitt’s Hugh Green in 1980.
The Maxwell is Te’o’s second national player of the year honor, joining his Walter Camp Award. The rest of Te’o’s hardware includes the Vince Lombardi/Rotary Award (best lineman); Bronko Nagurski Award (best defender); Dick Butkus Award (best linebacker); and Chuck Bednarik Award (best defender).
Te’o headlined a big night for Notre Dame, which also boasts the Home Depot Coach of the Year in Brian Kelly, and John Mackey Award winner for the nation’s best tight end, Tyler Eifert.
With two overall player of the year honors to his credit, is the most high profile in his future? A Maxwell Award winner hasn’t won the Heisman Trophy since Tim Tebow in 2007.
Fellow Heisman finalists Collin Klein and Johnny Manziel both took home hardware in the warm-up for Saturday night. Klein received the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given to the nation’s top redshirt junior, senior or redshirt senior quarterback. Manziel was named winner of the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s premiere quarterback.
“No moment is too big for him,” Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said of the redshirt freshman in a press release.
As anticipated, it looks like the race to the 2012 Heisman Trophy will be historic. Klein could surprise, but the bellwether measure of Thursday night’s Awards Show suggests the bronze statue will go either to an exclusively defensive player or a freshman for the first time ever.
Manziel’s Texas A&M teammate Luke Joeckel was honored with the Outland Trophy for the nation’s top interior lineman. Joeckel’s efforts were integral in Manziel’s success.
“It is a dream come true. I am honored by it,” Joeckel said. “I don’t think I am one of the best players I see on film. I am one of my harshest critics, I guess.”
- Home Depot Coach of the Year: Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
- Maxwell (National Player of the Year): Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Walter Camp (National Player of the Year: Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Chuck Bednarik (Defensive Player of the Year): Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Bronko Nagurski (Defensive Player of the Year): Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Davey O’Brien (Quarterback of the Year): Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
- Doak Walker (Running Back of the Year): Montee Ball
- Dick Butkus (Linebacker of the Year): Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm (RS Junior/Senior Quarterback of the Year): Collin Klein, Kansas State
- Biletnikoff (Wide Receiver of the Year): Marqise Lee, USC
- Vince Lombardi/Rotary (Lineman of the Year): Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Doak Walker (Running Back of the Year): Montee Ball, Wisconsin
- John Mackey (Tight End of the Year): Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
- Jim Thorpe (Defensive Back of the Year): Johnathan Banks, Mississippi State
- Ted Hendricks (Defensive End of the Year): Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
- Lou Groza (Kicker of the Year): Cairo Santos, Tulane
- Disney Spirit (Most Inspirational): Nate Boyer, Texas
- Ray Guy (Punter of the Year): Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech
- Campbell (Scholar Athlete of the Year): Barrett Jones, Alabama
- Frank Broyles (Assistant Coach of the Year): Bob Diaco, Notre Dame