Notre Dame’s Te’o overshadows Clowney, Jones


Jadeveon Clowney is South Carolina’s latest frequent flyer.

A quick glance at Twitter reveals the young man is tired, no surprise after his school record-setting season for sacks.


I’m sure @Sacmanjones_29 shares a similar sentiment.

Both Clowney and Georgia’s Jarvis Jones are finalists for a number of awards this week, but it’s doubtful either of the two will win. That’s what happens when a senior linebacker on the nation’s top-ranked defense garners most of the vote, fair or not.

The SEC’s two best defenders have to be worn out mentally. Forget the flights to Houston and Orlando, pointless award dinners prior to exam week that feature another player crowned must be numbing. Clowney and Jones are tired of being shafted for individual honors by Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o.

On Monday in Charlotte, Te’o edged Clowney and Jones for the Bronco Nagurski award given to college football’s top defensive player. Earlier that evening, Te’o took home the Butkus as the nation’s top linebacker.

Wrap your mind around those.

The infatuation with Touchdown Jesus is a disservice to the SEC East’s two best players.

Clowney commands constant double teams, has had his jersey stretched throughout the season and still led college football’s torch-bearing conference in sacks (13). Jones’ 22.5 tackles-for-loss is tops in the nation, one more than Clowney. South Carolina’s All-American sophomore has played in 11 games, two fewer than Jones and one less than Te’o.

But the heart and soul of the Irish defense trumps both according to voters. Notre Dame’s goal line stands against Stanford and Southern Cal hold more weight. The triple-overtime win at home against 6-6 Pittsburgh was a signature afternoon. Later this week, Te’o is expected to sweep two more prestigious honors — the Bednarik (outstanding def. player) and the Lombardi (top lineman or linebacker). Can’t say I’ll be surprised.

Te’o has been able to tug on the heartstrings of voters this season as a vocal leader on Notre Dame’s best team in nearly 20 years. No longer are postseason awards based on statistics and what’s done on the field, rather hype and team success.

Te’o, in fact, may collect everything this week. Triple-digit tackles and seven picks could be good enough for the trophy every football players wants — the Heisman. Clowney and Jones aren’t the only SEC players playing second fiddle to the Fighting Irish mystique. Johnny Football, the South’s winner of the Heisman popularity contest, may not be able to stiff arm or juke No. 5 either.

Photo Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports



You must be logged in to post a comment. Please sign in or register

  • Jones missed two games due to injury. He and Clowney have both played in one game fewer than Te’o

    • You beat me to it, Quint. That said, it’s hard to imagine two players who cause disruption single-handedly more than Jones and Clowney. As much as I love and will miss Jarvis, I have to give the edge to Clowney. He is an absolute Beast and, unlike Jones, he isn’t surrounded with NFL-caliber talent to take the heat off of him. Te’o would be a GREAT waterboy for both guys.

  • I hope Alabama dismantles Notre Dame and their precious all star.

    Te’o 2012 – 7 Ints, 1 FR, 103 tackles (52 solo, 51 assisted), 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, 4 passes broken up, 4 QB hurries. In 12 games.

    Jarvis Jones 2012 -1 Int, 6 FF, 1 FR, 71 tackles (44 solo, 27 assisted), 19.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, 2 passes broken up, 17 QB hurries in 10 games

    Jadeveon Clowney(couldnt find his as well, he may just have less not sure)- 2 FF, 50 tackles( 37 solo, 13 assisted), 21.5 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 2 passes broken up, 5 quartback hurries in 11 games.

    Both guys played less games and IMO have more important/better looking stats. Give them a full 12 games and Te’o would look worse then he already does.

  • I hope Lacy runs straight over him every time he (Lacy) gets the ball. Just absolutely dismantle the hype.

  • Apparently interceptions and tackles are the only stats that matter even when the other two guys are so good they have to be double teamed consistently and missed two games/sat out most of the “cupcake” games. Jones>Clowney>Demontre Moore>Alec Ogletree>Teo

  • Jones and Clowney are both freaks. Best players on the planet at their positions. Either of them are better than Teo for best defensive player. I know it, you know it, and the Domers know it. Lacy, Yeldon, and the Bama O-line will take care of him. Awards won’t protect him on the field.

  • hopefully Murray Jones and Ogletree come back for there senior year

    • If those 3 come back, the that SEC championship loss hurts a whole lot less!

    • God I wish. Murray might, and Ogletree may…but I think Jones is as good as gone. But if all three came…no doubt we should be an early favorite. More experienced line, Gurshall, deep receiver core (again), and some great young defensive players (Jordan Jenkins, Damian Swann, Ray Drew, Amarlo Herrara to name a few). Add the experience of Jones, Murray and Ogletree to that? Damn.

Continue scrolling for more articles.