Honored for one of the strongest individual defensive seasons in recent memory, Notre Dame senior linebacker Manti Te'o was officially given the 2012 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award on Thursday, according to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune.
Te'o became just the third defensive player of all-time to bring home the award, joining both Michigan's Charles Woodson and Pittsburgh's Hugh Green. Woodson eventually went on to win the Heisman Trophy in the same year for the Wolverines, a rare feat that Te'o himself is attempting to accomplish this Saturday at the 2012 Heisman Trophy ceremony.
Over 12 games, the senior linebacker recorded 103 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, and an improbable seven interceptions this season for Brian Kelly's BCS National Championship-bound Fighting Irish. He also helped anchor a defense that ranked No. 1 in America with 10.3 points allowed and held opposing offenses to just 92.4 rushing yards per game. While Te'o remains a long shot to edge Heisman favorite Johnny Manziel this Saturday, the Camp Award is a well-deserved honor for the future first-round pick.