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Manti Te’o, Barrett Jones make all the right moves
One player will be a champion Monday after BCS title game
Like Te'o, he says and does the right things.
Without profanity. “He’s never cursed,” insists Alabama tailback Eddie Lacy. “Ever.”
Adds right tackle D.J. Fluker: “There is not a dark side” to Jones.
Their accomplishments almost have to be divided into on the field and off the field for brevity’s sake.
Te'o is the first player to have a clean sweep of the following litany of awards: Butkus, Nagurski, Lombardi, Bednarik, Maxwell, Lott and Walter Camp player of the year.
“For as talented a player he is, he’s a better person,” Diaco said, adding that his star defender is “happy, full of life.”
“On a day where maybe as a coach you might be feeling a little down or maybe slightly distracted with the world’s problems, Manti is easy to see, look at and see his face and immediately be energized,” Diaco said. “So that’s just the kind of guy that he is.”
Te'o is an Academic All-American with a 3.324 GPA in design.
Te'o, a Mormon, showed his character when his girlfriend and grandmother both died within a few hours of each other. He had huge games against Michigan State and, the next week, against Michigan on the day his girlfriend was buried.
“To face those adversities and be able to still focus and have that determination, I think, to want to succeed for them. He wanted those games to be tributes to them. He didn’t want it to be about him and the fact that he was out there doing it. It was more that he wanted to bring light to them. Courageous, determined, focused and just family is the most important thing to him.”
Jones won the Outland Trophy as a left tackle last season, the Rimington Award as the nation’s top center in 2012 and the Campbell Trophy, the Heisman’s academic equivalent.
He just finished graduate school in accounting.
“I just feel like I’ve been gifted with a mind that enjoys school and enjoys learning,” Jones said. “I wanted to leave with a master’s degree. That was my goal the whole time.”
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
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