Manti Te’o, who is considered to be the best defensive recruiting prospect, decided that he will attened the University of Notre Dame. This is a huge shock to many experts who had him going to either USC or UCLA. There are many reasons why Te’o should have signed with either of those Pac-10 schools, but I will explain one main reason why Manti Te’o signed on to wear a golden helmet during his college career.
There are so many reasons why a top defensive recruit wouldn’t choose Notre Dame, especially a guy like Manti Te’o. For starters, he is a devoted Mormon and Notre Dame is one of the large Catholic universities in the U.S. He is so devoted that he wants to go mission work when he turns 19, which could delay his arrival to Notre Dame. Also, Notre Dame hasn’t had a decent defense since Chris Zorich and Bobby Taylor were in college. And lastly, Notre Dame seemed to be inches away from firing Charlie Weis and he could be playing for a different coach by the time he is finished with his college career. Those are all huge reasons why Te’o shouldn’t have signed with the Irish, but yet he did.
Going into last season, the Irish expected to make some sort of bowl game by the end of the year. I’m not sure if they were thinking that they would end up playing Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl, but it could have been a blessing. Manti Te’o is from Hawaii and I’m 100% sure that he watched the Hawaii Bowl very closely. The Irish looked very polished and made easy work of the Rainbow Warriors, it could be considered that it was their best overall team goal. If the Irish didn’t up in the Hawaii Bowl or any bowl game period, they wouldn’t have had a shot at Te’o.
USC should have snatched Te’o up very easily. They have a long lineage of Pacific-Rim descendants have very good careers as a Trojan. Troy Polamalu, Junior Seau, and most recently, Rey Maualuga, to name a few, played in huge games and made the USC program what it is today. One negative about playing at USC is that they are extremely stacked at every position. Te’o probably wouldn’t have had any trouble breaking into the starting line-up, but at Notre Dame he could start as a freshman.
Congratulations to Notre Dame for landing a top defensive recruit. This speaks a lot about the recruiting skills of Charlie Weis and proves that the Golden Dome can still attract top-flight athletes. If Te’o ends up on campus next season, it could catapult the Irish into a top-25 ranking at some point next season. They were a very young team last year and most of their starters will be back next year. Expect big things in South Bend in 2009, even if they do have two Golic boys.
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