Manti Te’o of Notre Dame wins the FBS 2012 Senior CLASS Award®

January 07, 2013


OVERLAND PARK, KS – Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who helped lead the Fighting Irish to an undefeated season and the BCS National Championship Game, has been selected as the 2012 Senior CLASS Award® winner in the NCAA’s® Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I football coaches, national football media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I FBS football. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

A design major, Te’o’s story this year has been well documented. Despite personal loss, Te’o has managed to inspire many people with his perseverance and strong faith. In the community, he has participated in the Irish Experience League, which brings South Bend youth to campus to take part in activities with the Notre Dame student-athletes. He regularly visits hospitals and homeless shelters and is active in his local church.

Te’o captains a unit that is ranked first nationally in scoring defense. He was a unanimous first-team All-American and won seven different post-season awards, including the Walter Camp and Maxwell awards. He was also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Te’o led the team in tackles with 103 – his third straight season with more than 100 tackles. He is third on the career tackles chart for Notre Dame. His seven interceptions this season is tied for third in the FBS.

“Manti has used his strong faith and personality to win many fans and followers during this outstanding senior season at Notre Dame,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “He has remained true not only to the school for four years but also to his own beliefs about being a leader and his convictions about helping others.”

FBS Football 2012 Winner

Name Position School
Manti Te’o Linebacker Notre Dame

First Team

Name Position School
Barrett Jones Offensive Line Alabama
Landry Jones Quarterback Oklahoma
Collin Klein Quarterback Kansas State
Adam Replogle Defensive Tackle Indiana

Second Team

Name Position School
Ryan Aplin Quarterback Arkansas State
Johnthan Banks Defensive Back Mississippi State
Matt Barkley Quarterback USC
Duron Harmon Defensive Back Rutgers
Sean Renfree Quarterback Duke