By B.J. Reyes
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie added his congratulations to those pouring in for Hawaii-born and raised Manti Te‘o, after the Notre Dame linebacker and former Punahou star was named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and was announced as the winner of the Butkus Award, awarded annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
In a news release Monday, the governor sad:
“Manti is the heart and soul of an undefeated Notre Dame team. He’s an inspiration to all the people of Hawai‘i, particularly to our youth as they dream and strive for excellence.
“I agree with his coach, Brian Kelly, who said that if Manti doesn’t win the Heisman, just cut to the chase and give all future awards to the offensive player of the year. Manti is a superb athlete and role model who has generated tremendous pride throughout our state and country. He is deserving of the Heisman.”
Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan, a California native, was a Heisman finalist in 2007 and was invited to the award presentation ceremony in New York. He finished third behind Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.