Te'o not distracted by BYU connection

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Te'o not distracted by BYU connection

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Manti Te'o had his heart set on USC. He grew up a USC fan, and said last year he was "sold" on heading to Los Angeles for college. But as Te'o will always tell it, he prayed about things and the next morning felt he was directed to go to Notre Dame.
But Te'o, who is Mormon, also had Brigham Young in his top three. A few of Te'o's friends as well as his cousin play for BYU, but the pull of USC and Notre Dame was strong enough to narrow things down to those two schools.
We wanted Manti," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We thought he was an excellent player. Heavy recruiting race. Had an official visit, saw everything that we had to offer, and he really didnt want BYU. So, certainly our evaluation of him as a player was right. Hes very good.
Te'o didn't want to delve into the details of his recruitment by BYU, instead offering his usual explanation for why he chose Notre Dame.
"I prayed about it," Te'o said. "Everything pointed towards Notre Dame. Obviously Notre Dame is where I came because I felt that I was directed to come here."
Te'o admitted before last year's USC game that the first two times he faced the Trojans, he had plenty of mixed emotions about facing a team he nearly played for and rooted for his entire life. But those feelings won't pop back up this year for the senior linebacker.
"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."

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USA TODAY

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USA TODAY

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