Thousands of fans have made their way into Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana this afternoon as the Fighting Irish attempt to pick up the first win of the Marcus Freeman era. While many fans have their eyes locked on to the field, a few may notice a familiar face on the sideline. This weekend, former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o made his first public appearance at Notre Dame since he finished his collegiate career in 2012.
“It’s always good to be home. There’s no place like home. But I want to make this real clear. It’s not about me. It’s not about one person. It’s about this whole family,” Te’o told fans, according to ESPN.
While it is the first time that Te’o has addressed fans at the university since he departed for the NFL, he says that he has visited the South Benn multiple times in an unofficial capacity over the years. This time around, the former Heisman runner-up reportedly attended mass and walked with the team to the stadium before Saturday’s game. Along the way, Freeman and Te’o stopped to address a crowd of fans.
“This team needs all of us,” Te’o said.
“It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when everything is going great. It’s easy to get on when everything is right. But what I want to know is, who is with me? … Who is going to get off that wagon and start pushing with me? That’s why I am here.”
The Fighting Irish will need all of the support they can get as they look to avoid an 0-3 start to the season against the California Golden Bears.
Welcome home Manti pic.twitter.com/0VypVtGoUh
— Notre Dame Football (@NDFootball) September 17, 2022