NEW YORK -– Former University of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was selected with the 38th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was the second Fighting Irish player taken in this year's draft.
Te'o is the highest-drafted linebacker from Notre Dame since Demetrius DuBose was the 34th overall selection by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1993 draft. Te'o is the fourth-highest drafted Irish linebacker since 1960. Bob Crable was chosen with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 1983 NFL draft, while Myron Pottios was the 19th overall selection of the 1961 NFL draft (second round).
"Manti Te'o is a once-in-a-generation type kid," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. "I've not been associated with a better player, leader and man in my tenure as a college football coach. He possesses all the instincts and talents necessary to be a top-flight NFL linebacker and the San Diego Chargers are fortunate to add his services."
Te'o is the first Irish player chosen by the Chargers since corner back Willie Clark went in the third round of the 1994 draft. San Diego has now drafted 10 former Notre Dame players in NFL history.
In 2012, Te'o became the 33rd unanimous All-American in Notre Dame history. He was the first Irish defensive player to earn such an honor since cornerback Shane Walton in 2002. Te'o was named a first-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, The Sporting News, The Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Associated Press selected him to their respective All-America squads.
Te'o was Notre Dame's fourth-ever unanimous All-America linebacker and first since Michael Stonebreaker in 1990 - also joining the likes of Jim Lynch (1966) and Bob Golic (1978).
Te'o was Notre Dame's first Heisman Trophy finalist since quarterback Brady Quinn in 2006. He finished second with 321 first-place votes and 1,706 points - the most ever by a defensive player in college football history. Te'o nearly became the third player to ever be named a first-team Academic All-American and win the Heisman Trophy in the same year joining Pete Dawkins (Army) in 1958 and Danny Wuerffel (Florida) in 1996.
Te'o captured the Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, Lombardi Award, Bednarik Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year. He became the first player in college football history to sweep the aforementioned seven awards. In fact, no other player in college football history had ever captured more than five major awards in one season.
Te'o, a Notre Dame team captain, was the leader of an Irish defense that ranked second nationally in scoring defense, only allowing 12.8 points per game. The senior made 113 tackles and collected seven interceptions. Te'o registered three-straight 100-plus tackle seasons and ranks third in Notre Dame history for career tackles with 437.
His seven interceptions ranked tied for second in the Football Bowl Subdivision and leads all FBS linebackers. Te'o owns the school record for interceptions by a linebacker in a single season and no FBS linebacker registered more single-season interceptions than Te'o since 2001.
He generated nine total turnovers (two fumble recoveries), which was tied for tops in the FBS. Te'o played a role in 11 of the 23 turnovers forced by Notre Dame's defense. He has also hurried a pair of passers on two occasions that directly resulted in interceptions.