Kelly says Manti Te'o is the best leader he's ever coached

Brian Kelly says by definition, Manti Te’o should be considered for the Heisman Trophy. But the Irish head coach is quick to point out that the award traditionally goes to a quarterback or offensive player.

Kelly says if the Irish end up with the top ranked defense at the end of the season, Te’o could be in the mix but that we are a long ways away from that point.

If being a team leader counts in the Heisman chat, then Te’o need serious consideration based on Kelly’s opinion of his senior linebacker and captain.

“There has not been anyone in my 22 years that has been a better leader on and off field that represents the ideals of college football better than Manti Te’o,” Kelly said Tuesday. “And that’s not even close.”

Te'o bypassed an opportunity to head to the NFL and returned for his senior season. Now he has the 6-0 Irish ranked 5th in the country as they welcome in BYU Saturday at 3:30 at the Stadium.

Te'o is a Mormon and his parents are in town for the game. Kelly says there has been some discussions between Te'o and other members of the L.D.S. church about playing BYU but Kelly says he doesn't think it provides any extra motivation for those players.

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