Notre Dame Football: Remembering The Manti Te’o Commitment


The commitment of Manti Te’o to Notre Dame still has lasting effects.

The winter of 2009 was an important time for Notre Dame football. Notre Dame had finally broken their ridiculous bowl losing streak when they throttled Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve, and they were looking to increase the momentum.

Charlie Weis was under extreme fire after that horrendous 3-9 campaign in 2007, and even though the Irish won their bowl game in 2008, the season was full of lost opportunities. Losses to North Carolina, Boston College, and Pitt were gut-wrenching in form and fashion, and the season ended horribly with a senior day loss to Syracuse and a blowout loss at USC.

Notre Dame was a team that looked like it was maybe moving in a better direction, but they needed help.

Help was on the way with a HUGE commitment from Manti Te’o. Weis wasn’t having a hard time getting top notch offensive guys, but the other side of the ball was a bit of an enigma in terms of recruiting for Notre Dame and Weis, and the fact that Jon Tenuta was the defensive coordinator and not a known recruiting power seemed to hurt the Irish.

Te’o changed the game and the narrative moving forward by committing to Notre Dame. It didn’t save Weis’s job, but it did eventually help the school in the following years with other top defensive talent.

What I found comical about the coverage, was how high ESPN was on Tyler Stockton in that class. Seriously- they said something about him like 3 times in that clip.

Te’o would eventually become the most decorated defensive player ever for a season in 2012, and that is still something that Notre Dame can point to when recruiting high school prospects. That 2012 season was miraculous and a very large part of its success and the fruits of the harvest after 2012, can be attributed directly to Manti Te’o.