Manti Te’o to return for senior season! This is Christmas come early for all Notre Dame fans. This was way out of left field considering Te’o's remarks about head coach Brian Kelly earlier in the season, commenting that he “will only be playing for his teammates and no one else for the rest of the season.” Mel Kiper and Todd McShay had Teo at the 13th and 15th pick overall respectively in the upcoming NFL Draft in the spring.
So you ask why did he return for his senior season? Honestly, I am not exactly sure why he did this, but if I had to say it was due to the commitment he made when he first came to the University of Notre Dame, which was to play football and earn his degree from one of the most prestigious universities in the United States.
Although Notre Dame will lose Robert Blanton and Harrison Smith after the Champs Sports Bowl against Florida State December 29th in Orlando , expect the Irish to return strong in 2012 considering all the talent that returns on the front seven. This front seven will have a year under the belt together and will definitely have higher expectations come Fall 2012. The Irish will also have several recruits coming in to help out the secondary, including Ronald Darby whose skill set is at the top of the recruiting class. With the talent and experience returning for the next season expect great things from this defense!