Notre Dame Fighting Irish's Manti Te'o on a mission

Linebacker Manti Te'o (5) could have been in the NFL by now but opted to return to Notre Dame —...

Linebacker Manti Te'o (5) could have been in the NFL by now but opted to return to Notre Dame — and the Fighting Irish are glad of it. (Reuters)

ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:10 AM ET

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. - If he had yielded to temptation, Manti Te’o might have been preparing for an NFL playoff game this weekend rather than the opportunity to bring a national collegiate championship to his storied university.

He’d be a richer man to be sure, though not in the way he vows matters most.

You see, from the time he left Hawaii for South Bend, Indiana, as a teenager, Te’o has been enamoured by the romanticized spell of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

And because he was captured by the storied Irish past, he has played a huge role in resurrecting its future.

When Te’o takes to the Sun Life Stadium field for Monday night’s BCS championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide, it will cap a four-year college career that has brought the Irish to a much different place than where it has been in the recent past.


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