Despite being a certain 1st-round pick, Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o has elected to return to school for his senior year.
It’s a curious decision for Te’o, who has very little left to prove at the college level. He is one of the elite athletes at his position and has been tremendously productive throughout his three years in South Bend.
I had Te’o as my second-ranked linebacker (9th overall) and fully expected him to turn pro.
One possible motivation behind Te’o's decision was a fear of falling due to what is expected to be an unusually deep class at inside linebacker. Luke Kuechly, Vontaze Burfict, and Dont’a Hightower are also viewed as potential 1st-round prospects.
Te’o will now likely be considered one of the top two or three senior prospects in the 2013 draft class.