ESPN video: Mormon athlete Manti Te'o relies on faith to overcome tragedy

Published: Friday, Oct. 26 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

Manti Te'o's name has been making the news circuit lately as a contender for the 2012 Heisman Trophy. While most articles and interviews focus on his skills as a Notre Dame linebacker, Te'o has been outspoken about the important role of faith in his life.

Te'o is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2009, when Te'o was being recruited by 29 college football teams, it was his belief in prayer that led him to ultimately chose Notre Dame.

Recently, his Mormon faith has helped him overcome the tragedy of losing both his grandmother and girlfriend within a matter of hours.

On Sept. 12, Te'o received two phone calls. The first came from his parents telling him his grandmother had died of an extended illness. The second, just six hours later, came from his brother. Te'o's girlfriend had died after a battle with leukemia.

In this video from ESPN, Te'o talks about the recent losses and how tragedy hasn't kept him from playing, and succeeding, in his football games.

After Notre Dame's win the following weekend, Te'o said, "They were with me. I couldn't have done it without them. ... I miss them, but I know I'll see them again."

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