Notre Dame's Manti Te'o wins Maxwell Award

Dec. 6, 2012 at 9:58 PM
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Dec. 6 (UPI) -- Notre Dame's Manti Te'o Thursday won the Maxwell Trophy as college football's best player and dominated the annual presentation of the sport's top honors.

The senior linebacker walked away with four awards during the gathering of the sport's elite players at the Walt Disney World Resort.

The Maxwell Trophy is voted on by a panel of media members and coaches. Te'o also won the Bednarik Award (top defensive player), Butkus Award (top linebacker) and Lombardi Award (top lineman).

Te'o is one of three finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be awarded on Saturday in New York and is the most coveted of all the individual college football trophies. Quarterbacks Collin Klein of Kansas State and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M are the other Heisman finalists and they were also finalists for the Maxwell Trophy.

The Maxwell Trophy had gone to a quarterback for nine straight years with Stanford's Andrew Luck winning it last year. The Heisman Trophy, however, went to Baylor's Robert Griffin III in 2011.

Te'o would become the first defense-only player to win the Heisman and Manziel would be the first freshman to capture the honor.

Both Manziel and Klein earned one trophy each during Thursday's ceremony. Manziel took home the O'Brien Award, which goes to the leading quarterback, and Klein earned the Unitas Award, which is given to the top senior quarterback.

Other awards and their winners included:

-- Doak Walker Award (top running back): Montee Ball, Wisconsin.

-- Biletnikoff Award (top receiver): Marquis Lee, USC.

-- Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back): Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State.

-- Lou Groza Award (top place kicker): Cairo Santos, Tulane.

-- Outland Trophy (top interior offensive lineman): Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M.

-- Ray Guy Award (top punter): Ryan Allen, Louisiana Tech.

-- Mackey Award (top tight end): Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame.

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