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 undefeated Fighting Irish reach the BCS championship game against Alabama.
"It's the big dance," Te'o said about the title game. "It is something that you dream about when you are little and for me to be in that game and playing against a real good Alabama team, it will be a perfect end to this chapter in my life."
Te'o 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.
On Monday, 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 will be in New York on Saturday for the Heisman Trophy presentation. The other finalists are Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Kansas State's Collin Klein, both quarterbacks.