Manti Te’o: Hawaii’s Heisman Hopeful
It was just announced that Hawaii native and Notre Dame Senior Linebacker Manti Te’o has been named a finalist for this years Heisman trophy. Te’o who has 7 interceptions (tied for 2nd in the nation) along with 101 tackles has been the emotional and vocal leader for the #1 ranked Fighting Irish. This will be the first year since 1980 that a pure defensive player (doesn’t participate in special teams) has been nominated and if Te’o were to win he would be the first pure defensive player to win the Heisman.
This is no easy task for Te’o as he is running against two Quarterbacks in Collin Klein (Kansas State) and front runner Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M). History also doesn’t bold so well for Te’o as the last defensive player to win the Heisman was Michigan Wolverine Charles Woodson in 1997.
While I believe Te’o deserves to win the Heisman, the truth is that ESPN is such a “hype machine” and over the last couple of days all Heisman coverage has been focused on freshman “Johnny Football.”
One interesting scenario to watch out for. Since Te’o is the loan player who isn’t a QB, what might happen is that he could win a majority of the 2nd place votes and leave the Klein and Manziel lovers splitting 1st and 3rd place votes.
*The Heisman trophy is awarded to the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity.