Notre Dame's senior linebacker is one of just two defensive players on the list, joining Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones.
Jones has 56 tackles, 10.5 sacks and five forced fumbles, while Te'o has 92 tackles and six interceptions.
I know Notre Dame fans don't want to envision it, but imagine if those two were playing alongside each other on the same defense? (Te'o was all but set to commit to USC, while Jones used to play there.)
Five finalists will be announced Nov. 28, with the winner being announced during the 6 p.m. ET edition of "SportsCenter" on Dec. 6.