Manti Te'o losing out on the Heisman Trophy may turn out to be the best thing to happen to Notre Dame.
Notre Dame's captain says he's motivated to prove he's the best after losing to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in the race for the Heisman Saturday in New York City.
"First--it was obviously, man I wish it was my name," Te'o explained of his immediate reaction to hear Manziel's name called. "He deserved it. For me, just to be here was an experience but I just felt that burn. Can't really describe it but just that burn to say, 'gotta get better.'"
Te'o, a senior linebacker, has just one last chance to prove he's the best. That's January 7th in Miami in the BCS National Championship game against Alabama.
"I'm telling you guys--if I had a choice between a national championship, I'll take the national championship 100 times out of 100 times," Te'o explained moments after the Heisman presentation. "I want to get back with my brothers---I saw them [Friday night over the computer] for the awards show and I miss them. It's time for me to get back home and be with my guys."
His guys certainly felt Manti should have won. They expressed their opinions on twitter immediately following the results, which showed Te'o finishing runner-up.
"That's family man," Te'o said. "That's how grateful I am to have my teammates--my brothers. I thank them for all the support."
The tiresome Te'o Tour concludes with a trip to Newport Beach on Sunday for the LOTT Trophy Presentation. Te'o visited Charlotte, New York, Houston, Orlando and was back in New York all in less than a week for different award shows. After Newport Beach on Sunday, he'll return to South Bend on Monday. He has one final left on Wednesday before completely his degree at Notre Dame.
"I'm relieved that it's over," Te'o said of the long week of awards shows. "I'm ready to get ready for Bama. Go back home, put the pads on, smack around a few guys and study film. That's what I love about these few weeks, I'll still have time to study film."