Plenty of awards for Notre Dame on festive night
Any guesses, though, who earned top billing at Notre Dame’s annual awards show? Hint: Winning the 2012 Notre Dame MVP award wasn’t the first award he’s won this week.
Linebacker Manti Te’o, who was not able to attend Friday’s Notre Dame Awards Show, renamed the Notre Dame Echoes, earned top honors for the nation’s top-ranked team.
Te’o still made an appearance via satellite hookup from New York, where he is attending the Heisman Trophy festivities.
“I’m over here in the middle of New York,” Te’o said to his teammates, “and there’s one place I want to be, with my brothers.”
Te’o, who has traveled thousands of miles this week during college football’s awards circuit, and collected numerous awards in the process, will find out Saturday night if he will win the Heisman.
Friday night, after being named MVP, he spoke about the great players he’s met
this week, but let his teammates back in South Bend know that the ND group he’s a part of is a bit different than other teams.
“There’s one thing they don’t have,” Te’o said. “They don’t have a family like we have.”
“He’s always been about his teammates,” Kelly said.
Kelly also introduced a number of other award winners during the two-plus hour program.
Tyler Eifert, who the previous night was presented the Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end, was named the team’s offensive player of the year.
“It could have gone to a number of different players,” Kelly said. “Whatever we asked him to do, it didn’t matter ... he did it.”
Senior safety Zeke Motta earned honors as the team’s defensive player of the year. A pair of senior wide receivers, Robby Toma and John Goodman, received the Nick Pietrosante Award, given in honor of the former Irish star and awarded for courage, loyalty, teamwork, dedication and pride.
Junior linebacker Danny Spond was named Rockne Student-Athlete and senior left Zack Martin was named Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Nix, who shared the Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year Award with Stephon Tuitt, was one of the few players to provide a speech after being called to the stage.
“I would like to thank my mom. She had a beautiful son and he’s here tonight,” Nix quipped.
Among the speakers was Jack Siler, a member of the Orange Bowl committee and the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where the 12-0 Irish will stay when they play Alabama in the Jan. 7 BCS Championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla.
“I look around here,” Siler, an ND grad, said as he took the stage, “and I think I see room for one more trophy guys.”
2012 Notre Dame Football Award Winners
Nick Fitzpatrick (Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year), Tyler Stockton (Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year), Everett Golson (Offensive Newcomer Player of the Year), KeiVarae Russell (Defensive Newcomer Player of the Year), Mike Golic (Irish Around the Bend/Community Service), Kapron Lewis-Moore (A-Team), Theo Riddick (Count on Me/Unselfish Teammate), Braxston Cave (Father Lange Iron Cross), Kyle Brindza (Special Teams Player of the Year), John Goodman and Robby Toma (Pietrosante), Louis Nix and Stephon Tuitt (Moose Krause Defensive Lineman of the Year), Zack Martin (Offensive Lineman of the Year), Danny Spond (Rockne Student-Athlete), Tommy Rees (Next Man In), Tyler Eifert (Offensive Player of the Year), Zeke Motta (Defensive Player of the Year) and Manti Te’o (MVP).
Staff writer Bob Wieneke: