Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o: #3 pick in NFL Draft?

If you’re a fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars, K.C. Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, it’s time to start thinking NFL Draft.

Expectations are always high for both Manti Te’o and Notre Dame.

Te’o, an inside linebacker who graduated from the same high school as President Barack Obama, is one of those all-worldly college football recruits that earn the highest ratings possible from every recruiting service imaginable. Both ESPNU and the Sporting News rated him the top defensive player, and 2nd best player, in the nation. His recruiting process was highly publicized, and his final two choices were the ND and USC.

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Notre Dame’s Biggest Strength: Possibly Defensive Front 7

In last season’s wins over Utah, Army and USC, the Notre Dame defense allowed an average of just 233.3 yards per game. In the first nine games of the season, the Fighting Irish allowed 393.1 yards per game. After surrendering 20+ points in six of the first nine contests in 2010, the Irish rebounded from their 4-5 start to go 4-0 down the stretch (including the Sun Bowl win over Miami). In that undefeated stretch, they averaged less than 10 ppg against.

The growth and development of the defense is one reason many college football pundits are very high on the Irish this season; and it starts with their fearsome front seven.

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Notre Dame Upsets #14 Utah, But Don’t Get Too Carried Away

notre-dame_cheerleaders

The Irish got exactly what they needed on a rainy Saturday afternoon in South Bend.

Facing a Utah team hoping to prove last week was the exception, not the rule, Notre Dame made a loud statement.  Freshman QB Tommy Rees executed Brian Kelly’s spread effectively, and the defense only allowed three points.
Coming off of two bad losses, including last week’s questionable coaching decision in the final minute, Notre Dame had a lot to prove.

By Brian McCabe

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Blue Chip LB Manti Te’o leads Notre Dame’s Defense

manti-te'o

Notre Dame head Coach Brian Kelly made it quite clear at Media Day who his leader on defense will be this season.

“There are guys that people gravitate towards. There are guys that set a standard for the way they play. And right now it’s (Manti) Te’o on defense and (Michael) Floyd on offense,” Kelly said at the season opening presser.

Te’o, an inside linebacker, is one of those all-worldly college football recruits that earn the highest ratings possible from every recruiting service imaginable. His recruiting process was highly publicized, and his final two choices were the Irish and USC. Given the current direction of the two programs, it’s pretty obvious he made the right choice.

Te’o discussed his status as the face of the 2010 ND defense despite being just a sophomore.

By Paul M. Banks

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