In 2008, Te’o was a Senior at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii. He won the first High School version of the Butkus Award, which is given to the Nation’s Top Linebacker. In 2012, he won the Butkus Award at the college level over Jarvis Jones, C.J. Mosley, Kevin Minter and Dion Jordan.
While in Charlotte for the Nagurski Trophy, for the Nation’s Top Defensive Player, Te’o received a phone call from Dick Butkus, the trophy’s namesake.
Jaylon Smith, a Notre Dame commitment from Fort Wayne, also received the award but the High School version. Smith is a 5-star recruit who will likely play all four years at Notre Dame like Te’o.
Te’o is the first player to receive the award in College who also received it in High School. San Francisco 49ers Linebacker Patrick Willis received the award in College and in the NFL.
Te’o will now move on to a week filled with awards. He will be at series of awards including the Home Depot College Football Awards and the Heisman Trophy Presentation.