By Bob Wieneke, South Bend Tribune, and Associated Press
9:10 PM EST, December 3, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Notre Dame star Manti Te'o just keeps winning.
The leader of the undefeated Fighting Irish found out Monday morning he had won the Butkus Award given to the nation's top linebacker. Then he accepted the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player later in the day.
He also picked up a trip to New York as one of the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Te'o, who earlier in the day was named winner of the Butkus Award as the nation's best linebacker, won the award over South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia's Jarvis Jones, Alabama defensive back Dee Milliner and Florida State defensive end Bjoern Werner.
Te'o was given the award Monday night in Charlotte, N.C. He is the first Notre Dame player to win the award, which was first awarded in 1993.
The energetic senior linebacker from Hawaii helped put Notre Dame back on the national radar this season, leading the top-ranked Irish to a perfect regular season and a date with Alabama in the BCS championship game Jan. 7.
Te'o says being mentioned along with former Nagurski winners such as Charles Woodson, Terrell Suggs, Warren Sapp and Champ Bailey is "something very special to me."