Manti Te'o Returning to Notre Dame for 2012

Christopher Chavez@@Chris_J_ChavezAnalyst IIDecember 11, 2011

Te'o will be wearing the gold Notre Dame football helmet for one more year in 2012.
Te'o will be wearing the gold Notre Dame football helmet for one more year in 2012.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

At the Lott Trophy Ceremony in California, Manti Te'o announced his decision to return to Notre Dame next year because of unfinished business.

Lisa Horne of Fox Sports broke the news on her Twitter account, with Te'o saying, "I feel I'm not done at Notre Dame. I'll be coming back to Notre Dame"

Heading into the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Florida on December 29th, the Fighting Irish already have questions about next year's team.

Te'o's decision to stay answered one of them and provided an early Christmas gift for fans. The next few questions surround who the quarterback will be next year and whether or not tight end Tyler Eifert will come back.

On Horne's Twitter page, she also tweeted a conversation with Te'o's sister, revealing she was pushing his brother to declare for the draft, as the NFL has always been his dream. Te'o acknowledged that, but decided to come back for one more year and continue to help the program as much as possible. 

With the return of Te'o, the linebacker could be entering 2012 with high hopes of possibly defeating the Michigan Wolverines before he graduates and improving enough to become the No. 1 linebacker in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The Irish defensive front will also be one to look out for, as Te'o will resume his role as the face of the defense. A projected lineup would include Te'o, Louis Nix III, Prince Shembo, Aaron Lynch and Dan Fox, among others. 

The Irish have a solid 2012 recruiting class and Manti Te'o will have no problem being a mentor to the younger players before he bids aloha to South Bend.