Now that Notre Dame's regular season has come to glorious conclusion, it is time to turn our attention to the next big prize for the Irish: the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Inside linebacker Manti Te'o is in a close race with star players such as Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, Kansas State's Collin Klein, Ohio State's Braxton Miller, Oregon's Kenjon Barner, and possibly others. Candidates are typically evaluated on their individual performance as well as their team's success. In addition to these, however, Te'o brings much more to the table, which maybe makes him the most unique Heisman candidate ever.
Take a look at the inspiring pieces below that fully recognize Te'o for all that he is.
A College GameDay clip (ESPN) that takes a closer look at how Te'o battles his own personal hardships while leading the Irish towards a perfect season.
Te'o sits down with news anchor and ND alum Kate Sullivan to discuss what landed him in South Bend, the Notre Dame community, his values, and much more.
A wonderful article by ESPN's Matt Fortuna that shows Te'o's greatness as a football player, family member, and role model.
Another outstanding piece, this time by David Wharton of the LA Times, that highlights Te'o's humility and personal strength.
Finally, not only is Te'o a quality human being off the field, but he is also a monster on it...
Whether Manti Te'o is the best player in college football is debatable. However, there is no question that there is no better person or leader in the game, which is why Heisman voters may look at the bigger picture when evaluating his greatness.