The legend of Manti Te’o just keeps getting bigger. The Notre Dame linebacker added to his already big haul on Thursday by winning the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, The Maxwell Player of the Year Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award. He took the trio of honors at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, FL.
By winning the awards he passes former Michigan defensive back with his sixth honor this season for his play on the gridiron in 2012. Woodson took home five trophies, including the Heisman, in 1997. Te’o won the Butkus, Bronko Nagurski and Rotary Lombardi Awards earlier this week.
The Maxwell Award is given annually to the nation’s top college football player as voted by coaches, sportswriters and sportscasters. Te’o ends a streak of nine consecutive quarterbacks to win the award. He joins Leon Hart (1949), John Lattner (1952 and ’53), Jim Lynch (1966), Ross Browner (1977), and Brady Quinn (2006) as the sixth Notre Dame player to receive the honor. He is also the first defensive player since Pittsburgh’s Hugh Green in 1980 to win the Maxwell.
“I’m at a loss for words,” Te’o said when asked on ESPN how it felt to win the award. “The last time I ever dreamt of winning that award was on a video game and now for it to happen is just mind blowing to me.”
The Walter Camp Award is given annually to the nation’s top college football player as voted by coaches and sports information directors across the nation.
The Chuck Bednarik Award goes to the nation’s top defensive player. Coaches, Maxwell Football Club members, sportswriters, and sportscasters vote on the honor. The award has only been given since 1995 and Te’o is the first Fighting Irish player to ever win it.
Te’o racked-up 103 tackles and totaled seven interceptions, the most in the nation by a linebacker, this season while helping Notre Dame to a 12-0 record and a spot in the Jan. 7 BCS National Championship Game.
Up next for Te’o is a trip to New York City this weekend for Saturday night’s Heisman Trophy ceremony. Kansas State’s Collin Klein and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, both quarterbacks, are the other two Heisman finalists.