Manti Te’o committed to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 4 years ago. He is now being considered a Heisman candidate after playing the best two games of his college career. However, I’m not sure how he managed to pull through those two games.
Te’o was going through a time of tragedy as he lost his grandmother and his girlfriend on September 11th, within 6 hours of each other. This video documents the hard time that Te’o went through before the best games of his life.
He said it was the hardest thing he’s ever had to do, and I can easily believe that. He lost his maternal grandmother that lived in Hawaii due to a long-term illness and his girlfriend passed away due to leukemia.
Te’o didn’t miss a single practice during his week of tragedy as they were scheduled to play the Michigan State Spartans who were ranked 10th in the nation at the time. It was his own decision to stay with the team, even after the coach told him that he could leave.
He said he truly loved his girlfriend and he promised to her he wouldn’t miss a game if she passed away. She was being buried at the same time as he was playing and she had asked him to honor her with his play.
That game, he had 12 tackles, one for a loss and broke up 2 passes to complete the 13-6 win over the Spartans. Te’o is considered to be best defensive player for Notre Damn in over a decade as the team is now 4-0 and ranked 7th overall. He is even being considered a top draft pick for the 2013 season after his impressive performance and strength as he goes through a rough period.