Four ND players named to watch listsPublished 8:57am Friday, July 13, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – University of Notre Dame graduate center Braxston Cave and senior offensive tackle Zack Martin were named to the 2012 Outland Trophy Watch List, while graduate defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore and senior LB Manti Te’o earned recognition on the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List.
The Outland Trophy is given annually to the best interior lineman in college football, while the Bronko NagurskiTrophy is given annually to the nation’s best defensive player.
Cave (Granger, Ind./Penn H.S.) has played in 35 games during his career. He started 22 straight games before a foot injury in 2011 required surgery and forced him to miss the remainder of season.
Prior to the setback, Cave started the first nine games at center and helped Notre Dame’s offense average 173.6 rushing yards per game and 5.5 yards per carry. A Rimington Trophy candidate in each of the last two years, he also spearheaded an offensive line that allowed only five sacks in 324 pass attempts in the season’s first nine games.
Martin (Indianapolis, Ind./ Bishop Chatard H.S.) has started all 26 games for Notre Dame over the last two seasons. He has won the Guardian of the Year Award, presented by the Guardian Life Insurance Company, to the top Irish offensive lineman in each of the last two years.
In 2011, Martin had the highest grade of any offensive linemen and recorded the most snaps. He led the team in knockdown blocks, extra individual effort and allowed only one sack plus permitted the fewest defensive pressures. Martin was a key component to an offensive line that improved its rushing attack by 33.8 yards per game from2010-11. The Irish allowed only 17 sacks all season and yielded one sack for every 27.8 pass attempts.
Lewis-Moore (Weatherford, Texas/Weatherford H.S.) has played in 32 games over his Notre Dame career and has started 29 contests, including all 13 in 2010 and each of the first seven in 2011 before a knee injury against USC ended his season. He has totaled 140 career tackles, more than any other Irish defensive lineman, including 13.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. Lewis-Moose has added three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and three pass breakups.
Lewis-Moore was on pace to lead the Irish defensive line in stops for the third straight season prior to the injury. He had tallied 32 tackles, including four for loss, and recorded one and a half sacks, two pass breakups and one forced fumble. Lewis-Moore collected a season-best seven tackles, including one and a half for loss and one-half sack, against USF.
Te’o (Laie, Hawaii/Punahou H.S.) has already been tabbed a candidate for the Bednarik Award and highlights just about every preseason All-America squad. He led the Irish with 128 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. He has collected 100 or more stops in each of the last two seasons. Te’o became the 10th player in Notre Dame history to record 300 tackles for a career and currently ranks eighth in school history with 324 stops.
Walter Camp, Rivals, Phil Steele, SI.com and Associated Press named Te’o a second-team All-American. He was named Capital One Academic All-America second team. Te’o was also a finalist for the Butkus Award and Lott Trophy in 2011.