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USC football: Linebacker Manti Te'o chose Notre Dame over Trojans

October 8, 2009 |  8:00 am

Football In one of the fiercest recruiting battles of the 2008-2009 school year, Notre Dame defeated USC.

Linebacker Manti Te'o of Hawaii chose the Fighting Irish over the Trojans in February, a decision that surprised many who thought USC Coach Pete Carroll and Southern California sunshine would prevail over Notre Dame Coach Charlie Weis and Midwestern winters.

Last Saturday against Washington, the 6-foot-2, 244-pound Te'o made 10 tackles in Notre Dame's 37-30 overtime victory.

Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley and USC will face Te'o for the first time on Oct. 17 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Te'o told the South Bend (Ind.) Tribune that he watched the epic 2005 USC-Notre Dame game on TV. The Trojans won, 34-31.

“That was the first game when I learned that when Notre Dame wears their green jerseys, that's when it's a special game for them," Te'o told the newspaper. "The whole experience of watching them on TV out there in Hawaii was really amazing to me. I just thought the game will go down in history.”

You can read the entire story here.

-- Gary Klein

Photo: Manti Te'o talks with his Notre Dame teammates before a practice session on Aug. 15. Credit: Matt Cashore / US Presswire