Notre Dame Heisman Watch: Week 5
Manti Te'o, LB: I think we can say he is in the picture right now, after another emotionally charged performance against a school from Michigan. Te'o has drawn plenty of national attention the past two weeks for his strong play and the way he has handled tragedy, and his two interceptions of Denard Robinson on Saturday only bolster his case. He cracked my Heisman Watch this week at No. 5, and is playing as well as any defensive player in the country. He won the Lott IMPACT player of the week honor Monday for the second week in a row. Te'o is tied for first among linebackers in interceptions (3), with only three other defensive players having recorded more (4 apiece). He is tied for second overall in fumbles recovered (2) and is sixth among linebackers in passes defended (1.25 per game).
Stephon Tuitt, DE: Another sack for Tuitt ties him for third nationally with six. (Two players have 6.5.) He has been a dominant force up front for the Irish defense, which has 14 sacks and is tied for second nationally with 13 forced turnovers, only one fewer than all of last season.
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Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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|1. Clifton Garrett||85||ILB||LSU|
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|5. Kyron Watson||83||OLB||Kansas|
|6. Clayton Thorson||83||QB-PP||Northwestern|
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