Te'o not yet thinking about NFL

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Te'o not yet thinking about NFL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Manti Teo said he hasnt put much thought into his future in the NFL, but Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco certainly has.

After perhaps his quietest week in months, one void of cameras, reporters with questions and awards speeches, Teo said Monday he has been focused on the moment at hand instead of the road ahead.

But Diaco has no problem forecasting the senior linebackers future -- he believes Teo, who won seven awards this season and was also a Heisman Trophy finalist, has an even brighter future.

He has no limitations, Diaco said. Hed be, and is going to be, a productive player in any defensive system that he gets added to at the next level.

Related: Te'o projected as high first-round pick

You can attribute Diacos faith in Teo to the gains the player made in his pass defense this season. Te'o's strides have helped elevate the Irish to be the No. 1 scoring defense among FBS schools heading into the BCS Championship Jan. 7 against Alabama.

Whereas Teo has always been a force in defense of the run and pass rushing -- he had 261 tackles the previous two seasons, including 23 for a loss -- this season he added a new wrinkle.

Prior to 2012, Teo had six passes defensed and no interceptions in his first three seasons at Notre Dame. But this season, through his study of opponents and improved technique, Teo has seven interceptions and 11 passes defended going into the teams bowl game.

Hes a student of the game, Diaco said. First of all, hes a got a great understanding of the pass situation. So hes already anticipating pass and run. He can fit himself into the pattern of his responsibility. After that, where he has really made a lot of gains is, he kind of is dictating, a little bit, the terms as where it relates to where he fits and invites the quarterback to do something he is asking the quarterback to do through his body language.

Related: Heisman goes to Manziel, but Te'o continues to build legacy

Speaking to the reporters for the first time in a week Monday, Teo said he hasnt thought about anything beyond Alabama. His parents have urged him to start thinking about the NFL and reporters have asked too. But after an offseason full of award shows -- he won the Walter Camp player of the year, Lott and Lombardi Trophies, and the Maxwell, Bednarik, Butkus and Nagurski awards -- Teo described a week away from the spotlight as joyful.

Instead of making speeches, Teo had the chance to be a student again, finishing up final exams and hang out with his teammates.

It was amazing, Teo said.

TOMBOY Women in Sports Symposium Q&A

TOMBOY Women in Sports Symposium Q&A

DePaul and CSN Chicago hosted a Women in Sports Symposium featuring with female athletes and women in sports media and sports business on Monday as part of the NBC Sports Regional Networks' TOMBOY initiative.

CSN's Kelly Crull hosted. She was joined by Jean Lenti Ponsetto (DePaul athletics director), Susan Goodenow (Bulls vice president of marketing and branding), Doug Bruno (DePaul women's basketball coach), Peggy Kusinski (NBC Chicago sports anchor/reporter) and Sofia Huerta (Chicago Red Stars forward).

After introductions and discussing what the word tomboy makes the panelists think of, the panel fielded questions on the topic. Watch the video above to see the full length Q&A.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Tim Anderson gives revealing interview about his first season

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Tim Anderson gives revealing interview about his first season

In this episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast, shortstop Tim Anderson joins the podcast and gives a revealing interview with Chuck Garfien about his first season with the White Sox and how adversity he faced in high school still drives him today.

Dan Hayes calls in from Arizona to break down the White Sox-Cubs game. They talk about Lucas Giolito’s White Sox debut, Jose Abreu’s first home run of the spring and the latest Jose Quintana rumors.

CSN’s Siera Santos talks about her conversations with Yoan Moncada and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: