HOUSTON (AP) - Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o won the Lombardi Award on Wednesday as college football's best lineman or linebacker.
Te'o, also a Heisman Trophy finalist, had 103 tackles and seven interceptions this year to help the Fighting Irish reach the BCS championship game against Alabama.
Te'o, a Punahou School alumnus, edged Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones, Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones and South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for the award presented by the Rotary Club of Houston.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te‘o is escorted by Miss Texas Ali Nugent after winning the Lombardi Award on Wednesday.
Today, Te'o will be in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., for the college football awards show.
The two other Heisman finalists - Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel and senior Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein - also will be present for the awards show.
Te'o, Manziel and Klein all are finalists for the coveted player of the year honor, the Maxwell Award.
Te'o also is among the nominees for the Chuck Bednarik Trophy, which goes to the top defensive player.
Manziel and Klein also are both up for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, along with Ohio State's Braxton Miller.
Today's awards show will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. (HST) on ESPN.
Te'o, Manziel and Klein will be in New York on Saturday for the Heisman Trophy presentation.
Earlier this week, Te'o won the Dick Butkus Award as the best linebacker, and the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player.
Te'o has inspired his Notre Dame teammates, playing on following in-season deaths of his grandmother and girlfriend.
In receiving the Nagurski Award, Te'o put his focus almost entirely on the Jan. 7 matchup with Alabama.
"If you ask people who the Butkus Award or the Bednarik Award winners are, or even the Heisman Trophy winner some years, they probably don't remember them," Te'o said this week. "But they remember who won the national championship."