For Te'o, Notre Dame-Stanford a special occasion

For Te'o, Notre Dame-Stanford a special occasion
October 10, 2012, 8:52 pm
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For plenty collegiate athletes, playing on Saturdays in front of one's parents is almost a given. But for Manti Te'o, it's not a common occurrence, seeing as his folks live about 4,300 miles away in Hawaii.
But Brian and Ottilia Te'o are on campus to watch their son this weekend for Notre Dame's game against Stanford, and the Irish linebacker couldn't be happier to play in front of them.
"I think for me it just enhances it to know that I'm playing this game that I love in front of my parents," Te'o explained Wednesday. "They can actually see me live. Same feeling I had these past couple weeks. My girlfriend and grandma was watching me live. (It) enhances that feeling of people watching you."
Te'o's parents were planning on coming to the Stanford game before the tragedies that befell the family. And Te'o was able to go home to Hawaii during Notre Dame's bye week to get closure on the loss of his girlfriend and grandmother.
It'll be an emotional occasion for the Te'o family, as it always is. Te'o recalled the first time his parents came to watch him at Notre Dame when he was a freshman, and said it was at that point when he realized he made the right choice to leave Hawaii for northern Indiana.
"That was when I knew all this hard work and all the sacrifice, the distance, the travel and all that, was worth it," Te'o said. "That all started on that walk (from the Guglielmino Athletics Complex to Notre Dame Stadium). My mom was crying, my dad was crying. My mom was actually in the back of a crowd. I know all of you, everybody has mothers, but when you hear your mom's voice it stands out.
"So amidst all the people out there I heard my mom's voice all the way in the back. The Notre Dame community brought her up. They made way so I could give her a hug, and it was a very special moment for me."
Te'o will surely have another special moment next month, when he's greeted on the field during senior day ceremonies by his parents. It'll be the last time Te'o will play in front of his parents at Notre Dame, but chances are he'll get the opportunity to see his parents in the stands at an NFL stadium sooner rather than later.
"I've been playing in front of them ever since I was eight years old. That feeling never leaves. It never gets old," Te'o said. "It's always a special feeling when you know that the two people that sacrificed the most for you to be here are in the stands. They're watching you and they're watching someone who they've given everything they have to live his dream. My dream is to help them in their dream, too."