Seven trophies, five cities and a treasure chest of frequent flyer miles later, Irish linebacker Manti Te'o is headed back to South Bend.
Te'o ended the postseason awards circuit Sunday night by winning the Lott IMPACT Trophy in Newport Beach, Calif. The final award added to an already unprecedented cache of honors for Notre Dame's captain. Tired and weary of bowties, he will return to campus Monday morning to complete his final exams and begin preparing for a national championship showdown with Alabama.
"I'm relieved that it's over," Te'o said Saturday night in New York City after coming up short in the Heisman Trophy voting to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. "I'm excited that I get the chance to prepare for 'Bama. I'm telling you guys Heisman trophy or national championship, I'll take a national championship 100 times out of 100."
Te'o's consolation prize, the Lott Award, is presented each year to the college football defender who carries himself best on and off the field. He was a finalist for the award a season ago, losing to Boston College's Luke Kuechly. That night Te'o announced he would be returning to Notre Dame for his senior season.
The accolades started pouring in for Te'o when he won the ARA Sportsmanship Award last Thursday. Since then he has claimed seven others. Click below to see our all-encompassing, multimedia rundown of Te'o busy week on the road.