Thursday, December 17, 2009

Te'o to Decide on Mission Soon

 Brian Kelly has a tough job in rebuilding Notre Dame's shoddy defense.

That task would be even tougher without Manti Te'o, the former prized recruit who turned in a promising freshman season at linebacker. Te'o, who's a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, may leave the Irish after this season to go on his two-year Mormon mission.

Te'o's father told Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune that the decision would come after Te'o finishes final exams this week.

"I think he's probably already come up with an answer,” Brian Te'o told the Tribune. “But he promised his mom and me that he'd let us know once he touched the ground here in Hawaii.”

The elder Te'o said his son "loves it in South Bend" and will definitely return to school if he does take his mission. Te'o could also opt to go on a one-year mission or remain in school for four years, according to Hansen's story.

It's a decision that Kelly and the Irish anxiously await.

The next time Notre Dame freshman linebacker Manti Te'o plays in a game for the Irish football team could be in Dublin, Ireland, against family friend and Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo in 2012.

Or it could be next September against Purdue in the first game of the Brian Kelly Era of Notre Dame football. ... Or something in between.

Te'o is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and it is tradition for members to take a two-year Mormon mission after turning 19. However, Te'o left open the possibility he may take a two-year mission, a one-year mission or make his Notre Dame experience his mission.

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