Te'o not concerned about effects of whirlwind awards schedule

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Te'o not concerned about effects of whirlwind awards schedule

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The next six weeks aren't just about preparing for Alabama or Georgia for Manti Te'o. The senior linebacker is a finalist for a truckload of honors, and was presented with the Awards and Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award Thursday afternoon.

He'll find out Monday evening if he's going to New York as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, but all indications point to Te'o heading to the ceremony in Times Square. Te'o is already a finalist for the Maxwell Award, Bednarik Award, Nagurski Trophy, Lombardi Award, Campbell Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Senior CLASS Award.

That's a busy schedule, and one that'll take Te'o away from South Bend for a week of banquets, ceremonies and glad-handing instead of preparing for the BCS Championship.

"I asked coach Kelly to make sure that there's a gym in whatever place we stay so when I come back I'm not D-lineman," Te'o said. "That's definitely something that I'll do myself to make sure I stay in shape."

Te'o had his final collegiate class Thursday, and will take his last round of finals the week after he returns. The impending end of his college career -- not only on the football field, but as a student at Notre Dame -- has garnered his focus in the last few days, not all the awards he may wind up winning.

"My attention has just been on taking advantage of every day," Te'o said. "I think all I've been thinking about is the time I have left here at school with my peers with my classmates. I'll be gone all next week so today was my last day of school. It was just hard to me to know that it's come to an end, a beautiful end."

The beauty of that end isn't dependent on the outcome of next week's Heisman Trophy presentation. It's a rarity for a defensive player to earn a trip to New York as a finalist, let alone win the award -- and Charles Woodson was featured as a wide receiver and returner with Michigan in 1997. There were no gimmicks to get Te'o in on offense this season, despite urges from a few players.

While Te'o hasn't appeared outwardly concerned with the Heisman, no matter how humble he is he'd like to win the award as an honor to Notre Dame, his teammates and his family. But he understands his candidacy is a long shot, given the history of defensive players in Heisman voting.

"If it doesn't happen, then whoever does win it is truly deserving of the award," Te'o said.

That person is likely to be Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, whose candidacy has been picked apart by Notre Dame supporters in recent days. One guy who isn't going to try to discount anything Manziel has done, though, is his direct competition for the Heisman.

"Dynamic player, really, really good playmaker," Te'o said of Manziel. "He always tends to make something out of nothing.

"That's definitely somebody that's of Heisman material," he added. "I'm a real big fan."

Luis Solignac wins MLS Goal of the Week for opener in Montreal

Luis Solignac wins MLS Goal of the Week for opener in Montreal

Luis Solignac has made a big difference to the Chicago Fire’s attack since joining the team in early August.

On Friday, the Argentine forward added an award to show for his impact on the team. He won MLS Goal of the Week for his opening goal in the 3-0 win at Montreal on Aug. 20.

The curling goal from Solignac was his first in a Fire uniform. He also drew a penalty kick, which David Accam converted, in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy.

In Solignac’s 312 minutes, nearly three and a half games, the Fire have scored seven goals. Not bad considering the Fire were averaging less than a goal per game before Solignac’s arrival.

Watch: Ben Zobrist belts 'Let It Go' at Disneyland

Watch: Ben Zobrist belts 'Let It Go' at Disneyland

In case you were wondering whether Ben Zobrist knows all the words to "Let It Go," he does.

The Cubs' All-Star second baseman spent at least part of the team's off day with his family at Disneyland, and he posted this Instagram video of him and his daughter screaming along to the song from the movie "Frozen."

Check it out:

Some great family time for Zobrist. His wife has a challenger for the family's best singer. But not really.

Hank Aaron to follow Michael Jordan as honorary captain at Michigan

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Hank Aaron to follow Michael Jordan as honorary captain at Michigan

Back in June, Jim Harbaugh asked Hank Aaron if he'd be an honorary captain at a Michigan football game this season.

Aaron has taken him up on it.

A look at Michigan's official website revealed to the Internet that one of the greatest baseball players of all-time will be the honorary captain for Michigan's Homecoming game against Illinois on Oct. 22.

Harbaugh chatted with Hammerin' Hank and donned a No. 44 Braves jersey during a stop in Atlanta on his whirlwind satellite-camp tour this summer, with Aaron sporting a Michigan hat.

Aaron will follow Michael Jordan, another all-time great who will serve as Michigan's honorary captain for the season-opener against Hawaii.

But while Jordan's connection to Michigan is all business — the Wolverines are the first football team to be outfitted by Jordan Brand — Aaron has a different reason to visit Ann Arbor, as his granddaughter attends the university.

(h/t Wolverine 24/7)