It's college football awards season and one of the first ones up is the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year.
Here's the release from the Walter Camp Foundation:
New Haven, CT – University of Notre Dame senior inside linebacker Manti Te’o (Laie, HI) has been selected as the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year. Walter Camp Football Foundation President John Marks made the presentation tonight during ESPN’s 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter.
The Walter Camp Player of the Year is voted on by the nation’s 124 Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. Other finalists for the Walter Camp 2012 Player of the Year award included Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein, USC wide receiver Marqise Lee and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner.
The 46th recipient of the Walter Camp Player of the Year award, Te’o is the third defensive player to earn the honor. Former Pittsburgh defensive end Hugh Green (1980) and Michigan defensive back Charles Woodson (1997) each won the award.
Te’o is also the fourth Notre Dame player – tight end Ken MacAfee (1977), wide receiver Tim Brown (1987) and wide receiver Raghib Ismail (1990) – to be selected Player of the Year.
“Manti Te’o’s performance on and off the football field has made him an outstanding recipient of the Walter Camp Player of the Year award,” Marks said. “His consistency, leadership, and perseverance have been trademarks of the Fighting Irish’s outstanding 2012 season.”
The 6-foot 2, 255-pound Te’o is a Walter Camp First Team All-America selection after leading the Fighting Irish defensive unit that ranks first in the nation in scoring defense (10.3 points allowed per game) and sixth in total defense (286.8 yards allowed per game).
Through 12 games this season, Te’o has totaled a team-best 103 tackles (8.6 tackles per game) and is tied for third in the nation with seven interceptions. Te’o has played a role in 11 of Notre Dame’s 23 turnovers this year (7 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 pass hurries that directly led to interceptions).
Top-ranked Notre Dame (12-0) will play second-ranked Alabama (12-1) in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7.
Te’o has appeared in 50 career games and amassed 427 tackles (209 solo). He is the second Notre Dame player – joining two-time Walter Camp All-American linebacker Bob Crable – to register at least 100 tackles in three consecutive seasons. A graphic design major, Te’o has a 3.32 cumulative grade point average and is scheduled to graduate this month.
Te’o, along with members of the Walter Camp 2012 All-America team, will be honored at the organization’s national awards banquet on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.
The Foundation is offering a "Holiday Ticket Promotion" for the National Awards Dinner. Buy two tickets for $400 (you save $150) before December 31. Please call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267) for more information.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team. Visit http://www.waltercamp.org for more information.
The Walter Camp Football Foundation is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA was founded in 1997 as a coalition of the major collegiate football awards to protect, preserve and enhance the integrity, influence and prestige of the game’s predominant awards. The NCFAA encourages professionalism and the highest standards for the administration of its member awards and the selection of their candidates and recipients. Visit http://www.ncfaa.org.
photo credit: getty images