As it turns out, Manti Te'o might embark on a three-year mission: using his remaining eligibility to help reconstruct the beleaguered Notre Dame defense.
The vaunted freshman linebacker will be crucial to those efforts, now that Te'o has decided not to pursue a two-year Mormon mission and instead will return to the Irish for 2010 and possibly beyond.
"I knew the impact of my decision could have a positive influence on those who follow me and those who watch what I do," Te'o said in a release. "I just thought I was sent to Notre Dame for a purpose, and that is a purpose I have to devote (myself) to."
Te'o left open the possibility of taking a mission after 2010 or "later on in life." But in a text message to the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets, Te'o's father indicated his son is in for the long haul.
"He knows why he was inspired to choose (Notre Dame) and is committed to spending the next three years there," Brian Te'o said.
It is a massive relief for a defense that ranked a grisly 87th nationally in 2009. Te'o was Notre Dame's most heralded defensive recruit in years, and he recorded 63 tackles, fourth on the team, despite not starting regularly until October.
Meanwhile, multiple reports out of Michigan have Grand Valley State head coach Chuck Martin leaving to become Notre Dame's secondary coach. Martin was Irish coach Brian Kelly's defensive coordinator during Kelly's Grand Valley tenure.