Notre Dame’s All-America linebacker Manti Te’o will be playing with a heavy heart on Saturday at Michigan State, after a devastating two days in which he endured the deaths of two people close to him, his grandmother and a close friend.
“He lost some people very close to him,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said. “It’s obviously taken a
toll on him. Our players have been there for him, there’s been great
Te’o stayed with the team this week, and he will play on Saturday.
“He’ll be with us, he practiced, he’ll be playing Saturday
against Michigan State,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, he’s gone through a very rough 24-48
hours. His support, his family at home has been great, all the players
and coaches have been there for him, He wants to be with his teammates,
he wants to be with people who care about him. He’s a strong man, he’s
going through a tough time, but he’ll rise to the occasion.”
Kelly said there has been some “preliminary discussion” about giving Te’o time to fly home to Hawaii to be with his family.
“We got a bye week coming up (after next week’s home game against Michigan),” Kelly said. “We’ll see how things go. We know he’s going to be with us for Saturday.”