Manti Te'o a Bednarik Award semifinalist

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was named one of the 16 semifinalists for the 2010 Bednarik Award on Monday, which honors the nation's top defensive player.

The sophomore was already named a semifinalist for this year's Butkus Award, given to the country's most outstanding linebacker. The Hawaiian leads the Fighting Irish (4-5) with 100 total tackles and is tied for a team-high tackles for loss with seven. Te'o currently is seventh in the FBS in tackles per game (11.1), having recorded 10 or more stops in six of ND's last eight contests.

Against Stanford on Sept. 25, Te'o registered a career-high 21 tackles. No player has had more in one game against a BCS conference opponent since North Carolina's Durell Mapp had 23 versus NC State in November of 2007. It's the most by any Irish sophomore since Bob Crable made 26 stops against Clemson in 1979.

The winner of the 16th Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 9. Finalists will be announced on Nov. 22.

Wes Morgan covers Notre Dame football for ESPNChicago.com.