POSTED: 2:37 p.m. HST, Dec 8, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 5:36 a.m. HST, Dec 9, 2012
NEW YORK » Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o said he wants to bring the Heisman Trophy back "to the people I represent in Hawaii."
Prior to tonight's Heisman Trophy award presentation on ESPN, Te'o said he didn't just see his presence as a Heisman finalist as a victory.
"Obviously, I want to win. I didn't want to come here to get second (place). I want to win," Te'o told reporters at a pre-Heisman get together.
The presentation airs at 3 p.m. Hawaii time with the trophy announcement scheduled about 3:50 p.m.
"I want to win because I want that honor and that attention not only for me and my family. I'm not just me, I represent a whole bunch of people. So for me to win this award it would bring a lot of honor and attention and love to the people that I represent and that's my only thing."
Te‘o said "I'm a representative of that state (Hawaii) and I always will be. Everything I try to do I try to make them proud."
Te‘o said he had considered wearing a traditional Samoan i‘e to the Heisman ceremony but decided after talking to officials that he'd stick with the formal wear.
He was attired in a dark pin-stripe suit and wearing lei "from my auntie Bonny and uncle Keith (Amemiya). You can get it here (in New York)."