While Notre Dame's Manti Te'o chose to be a member of the Fighting Irish football team instead of going to BYU, the All-American linebacker told J.J. Stankevitz of CSN Chicago that he's not going to let that connection distract him during Saturday's game against the Cougars. He can help lead Notre Dame to a 7-0 record with another win.
"It's just game seven," Te'o said of BYU. "I think I said this before: When you start to do things differently than you've done in the past, then bad things start to happen. I've been there before. I've made the mistake of being overly excited for a game and it hurt me. So fortunately for me, I've been there, done that. That's a mistake that won't happen again."
Te'o was certainly not an unknown as he left high school in 2009. Awarded the Butkus Award for the top high school linebacker and named the USA Today Defensive Player of the Year, Te'o had plenty of options when selecting a college.
He narrowed his choices to Notre Dame, USC and BYU before selecting the Fighting Irish on signing day. While his Mormon faith was a pull towards the Cougars, he elected against the school even though many of his friends and a cousin elected to attend BYU.