CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FWAA) – Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who has helped put the Fighting Irish on the cusp of their first national title in nearly 25 years, claimed the 2012 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Monday night.
The 6-2, 255-pound senior from Laie, Hawaii, became the 20th winner of the trophy, which annually is awarded to the best defensive player in college football as voted upon by theFootball Writers Association of America (FWAA). Te’o received the award on Monday night at a banquet at the Westin Hotel that is sponsored by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
“It’s definitely a great accomplishment for me.” Te’o said after receiving the trophy. “I’ve ways wanted to be the best. For this to happen helps me to know I’m heading in the right direction. The formula is the same: Hard work leads to success as long as I keep doing it.”
Coincidentally, his head coach, Brian Kelly, was the keynote speaker at the banquet. Te’o is the first Notre Dame player to win the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and only the second finalist from the school.
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