Te'o Talks USC Visit, Top Three

While Manti Te'o contemplates his future, three colleges await his final decision. For them, his choice can't come too soon. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder from the Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawai'i is the No. 1 SLB in the country by Scout.com and the No. 1 prospect overall in the Northwest region.

He spoke to Scout.com Monday morning about his last official visit, to USC, as well as his finalists and what it's going to take for him to realize his dream of playing football at the next two levels.

"The players are focused on their craft and everybody at SC, they all want to excel," Te'o told Scout.com of his official visit to Southern Cal, taken this past weekend. "They all work hard at football, and the guys all get along very well with each other. The coaches all seem to care about their individual athletes. It was a great trip and a good experience."

Running back Stanley Havili was Manti's host. "Stanley just told me that it was a great place to be and a great place to play football," said Te'o. "There are guys over there like himself that are members of the (LDS) church that are strong, devoted members, and if I decide to go there, I'll be fine."

Speaking of church, Te'o did tell Scout that he is firm in his decision to play his first year of college before heading out and serving a two-year mission.

Now that he's back on Oahu, the clock continues to click toward Letter of Intent day, Wednesday, February 4th. While time can't move quickly enough for fans of the Bruins, Irish and Trojans, Te'o has a lot of thinking to do in a relatively short amount of time.

"It's still really up in the air," he said when asked about his eventual choice. "I'm just going to look at the pros and cons of each on paper and pray about it and make my decision."

That being said, Manti was kind enough to break down the positives of each of his finalists.

UCLA - "They have a great coaching staff, coach Norm Chow especially. He's a great man and a member of the church, so it's comfortable having a coach on the coaching staff that believes in the same things that you do. They are in Westwood, a nice place...a safe place."

Notre Dame - "The tradition at Notre Dame can't compare to anything else. Coach Charlie Weis is a player's coach and he makes sure all his players are OK. Coach Tenuta is a good man, and if I was to go there I'd be coached under him. He seemed very knowledgeable."

USC - "USC is USC. They play a great brand of football that has won them a lot of championships in the past decade. Coach Pete Carroll knows how to get his guys going, and coach Ken Norton is the linebackers coach and he played at all three levels and excelled at all three levels, so he knows what it takes to get there."

Te'o will be one of approximately 45 or so Hawaiian prospects who will be signing their letters of intent Wednesday during the Fifth Annual PIAA NLI Signing Day Party at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu at 7 am HST.


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