He's more than just a big man on campus.
Manti Te'o is Notre Dame's Big Kahuna.
The junior Irish linebacker is the most popular export from paradise since pineapples and the Elvis Presley Classic, "Blue Hawaii."
Here on the mainland, or any other land, the 6-foot-2, 255-pound Te'o is special.
He's a tackling machine, fueled by skill and precision. Every stop is a clinic, heavy on fundamentals.
Te'o is so good, Notre Dame football fans might be tempted to take him for granted. Opposing offenses certainly won't.
If he's not making 21 tackles, like he did last season against Stanford, Te'o's efforts risk being considered pedestrian.
In last week's win over Purdue, Te'o had eight tackles. Hardly eye-popping. But with three tackles for loss, including a sack, his performance caught the attention of head coach Brian Kelly.
"He might have had his best game against Purdue," Kelly said. "He was very detailed. He's never a guy we worry about in terms of how he's going to play. Sometimes he tries to do too much. I thought that was his most disciplined game.
"He can recognize things before they happen. That's film study. The really great players have that."
Te'o had somewhat of a challenge going into the Purdue game. Coaches didn't hesitate to remind him that last year's season-opener against Purdue may have been his worst game.
"We talked about (how bad he played against Purdue last year)," said Irish defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Bob Diaco. "He had a lot of opportunity for production that didn't happen."
"I obviously understand what kind of game I had last year," Te'o said. "It wasn't the kind of game I want to have. I was just looking to get better, make sure it didn't happen again."
While cutting his teeth as a big-time contributor within the Notre Dame defense last year, Te'o dealt with growing pains. Consistency suffered. One time he'd lay the wood. The next, he'd whiff.
"We identified liabilities in every single player," Diaco said. "The players that are really at the top of their game, it's easy to just overlook them and focus on ...
"(Te'o) had things in his scheme that he needed to clean up. In the offseason, I made a cut-up of plays of just him and gave him an opportunity to watch it. It made a pretty big impact on him. From that moment, he's made a concerted effort, not only to do the things that we're working on, but he takes a lot of time and focuses on his liabilities - angles, foot action, transition from speed to power. He's basically eradicated that from his game."
"That cut-up (Diaco) made, showed me the mistakes I made," Te'o said. "It started from my angles. I got to see what happened. When you look at it like that, you can visualize, analyze and correct it. My dad (Brian) helped me a lot, reminding me of basic tackling fundamentals.
"I'm still trying to find a balance (in tackling). I'm trying to knock somebody out every time I hit them. I'm learning, when I'm in space and it's open-field tackling, it's not necessarily smart to try to take somebody's head off.
"If there's an opportunity to take somebody out, I'll take advantage of that. If it's open-field and I need to get the guy down, I'll get the guy down."