Manti Te’o is back in South Bend. Fighting Irish faithful couldn’t get enough of the former Notre Dame superstar during Saturday’s pregame “Victory March.”
Decked out in Irish green, Te’o spoke to a crowd gathered between the Hesburgh Library and Notre Dame Stadium awaiting the arrival of the Irish on their trek from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to the stadium. He fired up Irish fans from the start.
Here’s Teo’s full speech.
“Let’s go! Man, 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 about this whole family. It’s about this whole family. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. You understand what I’m saying? You want to go fast, go alone. You want to go far, go together.
“This team needs all of us. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon when everything is going right. It’s easy ti get on there when things are going right. But I want to know, who’s with me? Who’s with me? Who’s going to jump off that wagon when it ain’t rolling right? Who’s going to get off that wagon and start pushing with me? That’s why I’m here. Coach said we need a little bit of push. I was like, I’m there coach. I got you. I got my little brothers.
“They’re ready for war. I’m telling you that. I spoke to them yesterday and they’re ready to go. But I need you with me. There is going to be a party in that stadium in a few hours. It’s an all-ager rager. It’s an all-ager rager. It’s going to be lights out in there. I’m going to see all of you in there. I love everybody. Let’s go boys.
“There is a reason we’re the Fighting Irish. We’ll fight you anywhere. We’ll fight you in there, we’ll fight you on the road, we’ll fight you in the parking lot. Turf, snow, rain — it doesn’t matter. We’ll fight you for four quarters. Now we’re going to get the job done. Remember that language boys. Stay fluent in it. Go Irish!”
Te’o was a Heisman Trophy finalist with Notre Dame in the Irish’s undefeated 12-0 season in 20212. He had 437 tackles, 8.5 sacks and seven interceptions. He enjoyed an eight-year NFL Career with the then-San Diego Chargers, New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.