Call me a hater or whatever, but I don’t think that Manti Te’o should be a Heisman Candidate. Yes, this year has a weak Heisman class, but for a defensive player you have to be a certain breed to be considered for a Heisman. In recent memory Ndamukong Suh and the “Honey Badger” Tyrann Mathieu were Heisman candidates, but their play on the field was above and beyond Te’o’s. Te’o may be a great emotional leader for the Fighting Irish and their best player, but that does not mean he should strike the pose. For a player that has no defensive touchdowns and only 1.5 sacks I think it is ridiculous that he is a valid candidate.
Te’o should definitely be up for the Butkus award, and having the opportunity for receiving an All-American nod if he continues his stellar play. I think the luxury of playing for an upper echelon university gives him an edge. The Notre Dames, USC’s, Ohio State’s, Alabama’s and LSU’s of the world are perceived in a different light than programs such as Clemson and Louisville. Notre Dame has been irrelevant since the days of Brady Quinn(overrated too), so it is refreshing to see some type of football talent coming out of that school in some people’s eyes.
There are several linebackers and defensive players around the country who are having seasons that are just a good, but they are not in contention for the Heisman. I think it’s a crime if Te’o gets to strike the pose. Charles Woodson is the lone defensive player to ever win the Heisman and it should stay that way.