It's Official: Manti Te'o Is Going To Play For The Irish

Cornielius Jackson-EdwardsCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2009

Manti Te’o has made his decision to play football for Notre Dame. This stunning decision sparked great joy among Notre Dame fans. Te’o was also thinking about BYU, USC, UCLA, or Hawaii, but Notre Dame was the final decision. He is a 5-star linebacker, and is considered top defensive prospect in the country.

Te’o is Mormon, but he feels really comfortable at Notre Dame. He appreciates the fans wearing lays for him when he came to the game against Syracuse. They wore lays for him because he’s from Hawaii. He enjoyed the snow surprisingly. Hopefully he can do well especially since Maurice Crum is graduating.

Te’o brings a lot of speed so Notre Dame will have a huge pass-rush and the quality to stop the run. Notre Dame’s defense has been improved since the 2006 season. In 2006, the Irish gave up very long touchdown passes and same in 2005. They did well in 2007, but the offense was so bad. The 2007 season was the worst in Irish history. Te’o looks ready and hopefully he finishes his senior year in high school well.

Notre Dame finished 7-6 in the 2008 season. They could have done better, but that’s a great improvement after going 3-9 in 2007. Notre Dame beat Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl 42-21 to end a streak of losing 9 straight bowl games.

Defensive Coach, John Tenuta, will have Te’o playing outside linebacker during the season to allow him to use his speed to make plays. Tenuta anticipates that Brian Smith will play middle linebacker. Te’o is helping the Irish Recruiter Effort, and two days after signing, his close friend/ teammate Roby Toma also decided to go to Notre Dame with Te’o. Toma is a speedy and shifty wide receiver who will play the slot. Clausen will have more targets. Te’o’s speed might allow the Irish to move Harrison Smith from linebacker to free safety. This would be a great replacement for David Bruton who is to graduate in a few months.

Te’o is a huge signing for Notre Dame. The coaching worked extremely hard to recruit him and he will pay big dividends for the team. His signing gives the Irish great momentum heading into the 2009 season.