University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o became the 33rd unanimous All-American in Notre Dame history when he was selected to the 2012 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) All-America Team today. He is the first Irish defensive player to earn such an honor since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002...
Te'o (Laie, Hawai'i/Punahou H.S.) was a first-team All-American on all five teams the NCAA recognizes to calculate unanimous All-America standing. He was previously selected to the All-America squads by the American Football Coaches Association, The Sporting News, The Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press.
Te'o is Notre Dame's fourth-ever unanimous All-America linebacker and first since Michael Stonebreaker in 1990 - also joining the likes of Jim Lynch (1966) and Bob Golic (1978).
Te'o was Notre Dame's first Heisman Trophy finalist since quarterback Brady Quinn in 2006. He finished second with 321 first-place votes and 1,706 points - the most ever by a defensive player in college football history.
Te'o nearly became the third player to ever be named a first team Academic All-American and win the Heisman Trophy in the same year joining Pete Dawkins (Army) in 1958 and Danny Wuerfel (Florida) in 1996.
Te'o captured the Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year. He became the first player in college football history to sweep the aforementioned seven awards. In fact, no other player in college football history had ever captured more than five major awards in one season.
Te'o, a Notre Dame team captain, has been the leader of an Irish defense that ranks first nationally in scoring defense, only allowing 10.3 points per game. The senior has 103 tackles and seven interceptions. Te'o has registered three-straight 100-plus tackle seasons and ranks third in Notre Dame history for career tackles at 427.
His seven interceptions are tied for third in the Football Bowl Subdivision and lead all FBS linebackers. Te'o owns the school record for interceptions by a linebacker in a single season and no FBS linebacker has registered more single-season interceptions than Te'o since 2001. He has generated nine total turnovers (two fumble recoveries), which is tied for tops in the FBS. Te'o has played a role in 11 of the 23 turnovers forced by Notre Dame's defense. He has also hurried a pair of passers on two occasions that directly resulted in interceptions.
Te'o is Notre Dame's 81st different player and 97th total selection to earn consensus All-America status - both are more than any other school. The Irish have produced at least one consensus All-American in 30 of the last 44 seasons.
Notre Dame's All-Time Unanimous All-Americans
1929 Frank Carideo, QB
1930 Frank Carideo, QB
1931 Marchy Schwartz, HB
1932 Joe Kurth, T
1938 Joe Beinor, T
1946 John Lujack, QB
1947 John Lujack, QB
1949 Emil Sitko, FB, Leon Hart, E
1952 John Lattner, HB
1953 John Lattner, HB
1954 Ralph Guglielmi, QB
1966 Nick Eddy, HB, Jim Lynch, LB
1969 Mike McCoy, DT
1971 Walt Patulski, DE
1972 Greg Marx, DT
1975 Steve Niehaus, T
1976 Ross Browner, DE
1977 Ross Browner, DE, Ken MacAfee, TE
1978 Bob Golic, LB
1980 John Scully, C
1987 Tim Brown, FL
1989 Todd Lyght, CB
1990 Raghib Ismail, FL, Chris Zorich, DT, Michael Stonebreaker, LB
1993 Aaron Taylor, OT
2002 Shane Walton, CB
2005 Jeff Samardzija, WR
2009 Golden Tate, WR
2012 Manti Te'o, LB