Notre Dame Football: Dont'a Hightower

Kuechly tops Te'o for Butkus Award

December, 5, 2011
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Boston College junior Luke Kuechly won the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.

Notre Dame junior Manti Te'o was one of six finalists for the award and finished in fourth place in the voting, notching 20 points and one first-place vote.

Kuechly, whom Te'o and the Irish defeated Nov. 19, received 58 points and 19 first-place votes after finishing second to Texas A&M's Von Miller last season.

Alabama's Dont'a Hightower (33 points and five first-place votes) and Courtney Upshaw (23 and three) finished second and third, respectively. Nebraska's Lavonte David (16 and one) and Georgia's Jarvis Jones (14 and one) finished fifth and six.

Manti Te'o named Butkus finalist

November, 22, 2011
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Manti Te'o is one of six finalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

The junior leads Notre Dame in tackles (103), tackles for loss (11.5) and sacks (4.5) this season.

Te'o is coming off a team-best 12-tackle performance in Saturday's 16-14 win against Boston College, his seventh game this season with at least 10 tackles. The performance earned him FBS independent defensive player of the week honors and Lott IMPACT player of the week honors.

The man who had the most tackles in Saturday's game, the Eagles' Luke Kuechly (14), is one of the other five finalists for the award, joining Nebraska's Lavonte David, Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Alabama's Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw.

Te'o named Lott semifinalist

November, 9, 2011
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Manti Te'o is one of eight semifinalists for the Lott Award, given to the defensive IMPACT player who has displayed great performance on the field and great character off it.

Te'o leads Notre Dame in tackles (87), tackles for loss (4.5) and sacks (11).

He joins Alabama's Dont'a Hightower and Boston College's Luke Kuechly as the only players to be named semifinalists for the Lott, Lombardi and Butkus awards.

IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Te'o one of 16 Bednarik semifinalists

November, 1, 2011
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The honors keep piling up for Manti Te'o, who is now one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the nation's outstanding defensive player.

For those keeping count, that's now four major awards Te'o is up for this season. The junior linebacker is also a semifinalist for the Butkus (linebacker) and Lombardi (linebacker/linemen) awards, in addition to being a quarterfinalist for the Lott Award (defense and character).

Te'o joins Alabama's Dont'a Hightower and Boston College's Luke Kuechly as the only players to appear on the most recent lists for all four awards. Michigan State's Jerel Worthy, a defensive tackle, is on all but the Butkus list, which is limited to linebackers.

Te'o leads Notre Dame with 82 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.

Three finalists for the Bednarik award will be announced Nov. 21, and the winner will be announced Dec. 8.

One more honor for Manti Te'o

October, 28, 2011
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Add the Lott Award as another trophy Manti Te'o is up for more than halfway through the season.

Te'o is a quarterfinalist for this one, one of 20 players. The Lott Award is given annually to the nation's outstanding defensive player of the year. It is the first trophy to equally recognize on-field play and personal character attributes.

Te'o is one of four players to appear on both the semifinalist list for the Lombardi Award and the quarterfinalist list for the Lott Award. Alabama's Dont’a Hightower, Michigan State's Jerel Worthy and Boston College's Luke Kuechly are the others.

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