Charlie Weis opened his presser on Wednesday by talking about the big news of the day – Manti Te’o's signing with Notre Dame and he was clearly excited about the developments.
First, here’s what Weis had to say about Manti as a player.
You know, he’s considered one of the top players in the country. This is a linebacker that’s going to make an instant impact for us. He helped them capture their first state championship ever, and in that game he had eight tackles and a couple sacks and a forced fumble en route to a 38-7 victory there. He finished the year with 129 tackles and three forced fumbled and three interceptions, and he was just on the phone already politicking for some short yardage runs on offense. So, you know, he’s already looking to be the next AA player; I say that in jest.
I like to hear Weis suggesting that Te’o will be making an immediate impact. I could easily see Te’o sliding right into the starting lineup – probably at the SAM position with Harrison Smith moving back to his more natural position, safety. Smith’s backup at SAM this year, Steve Quinn, is out of eligibility so there would definitely be room for at a minimum playing time at the position. With Maurice Crum graduating, there will also be a starting spot open at the JACK position as well so there’s a chance Te’o gets a look there as well.
Here’s a little from Weis on the recruiting of Te’o as well.
We spent a lot of energy obviously to get over to Hawaii to get this kid, and we are just absolutely delighted that he joined us here today. He’s every bit of that 6 2, 225; that might not be doing him justice. He might be bigger than that. Having seen him in person multiple times, including having him here on our campus. You think about it, a kid from Hawaii, he comes to the Syracuse game in the snow, and ends up committing; it’s truly remarkable.
When you think about it, it is pretty remarkable that Weis and Polian were able to land Te’o. Not only was the Syracuse game pretty much a disaster, but Notre Dame was also coming off back to back poor seasons and went up against USC for the #1 linebacker in the country and won. That’s really a testament to Weis, Pollian, and this staff’s recruiting ability.
I have to admit that I was very surprised that Te’o ended up at Notre Dame. It’s been a long time since we went up head to head with a school like USC for a top rated defensive player who announcement on Signing Day and came out on top. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come for Notre Dame.