Dec 26, 2009, 6:09 PM EDT
Crisis averted for Brian Kelly. In what could be considered his largest recruiting victory as a head football coach, Brian Kelly managed to keep prized linebacker Manti Te’o at Notre Dame.
According to reports by both the South Bend Tribune and the Chicago Tribune, Te’o will return to South Bend instead of taking his Mormon mission, and is committed to playing the next three years for the Irish.
“It is official, Manti announced he will not be withdrawing from school next semester but will return to ND to complete his first year of studies,” Te’o’s father Brian told the South Bend Tribune. “He will be playing for the Irish next season.”
Brian Te’o also confirmed via text message with the Chicago Tribune that he’ll spend four years in South Bend.
“He knows why he was inspired to choose ND and is committed to spending the next three years there,” the elder Te’o wrote.
This is great news for both Notre Dame fans and the beleaguered Irish defense, as Te’o will be a mainstay in Brian Kelly 3-4 defense, likely teaming with Brian Smith in the middle of the Irish defense.
The fact that Te’o father also confirmed that a mission is off the table for the duration of his college career must be a relief to the new coaching staff, and will allow Manti to get settled in for the long haul and continue developing at linebacker.
Good job by BK and whatever staff he has working with him.