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Joe Raymond, Associated Press
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o answers a question during NCAA college football media day, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012 in South Bend, Ind.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Manti Te'o could have gone on a Mormon mission after his freshman season. Last December he decided to bypass a chance to turn pro. Now, he's back at Notre Dame for one last season, hoping to leave his imprint on a program that is still trying to find its way back into the national spotlight.

Te'o is 15 pounds lighter, thanks to a better diet that he said makes him even more explosive and quicker. He will leave Notre Dame as one of the top tacklers in the school's history. He enters his final season No. 8 on the all-time list with 324.