Te’o back to lead Irish defense

(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated.)By RICK GANOAP Sports Writer

Manti Te’o had his knee cleaned up with arthroscopic surgery in the offseason and was limited during spring practice. Now the leader of Notre Dame’s defense is healthy and eager to help the Irish build on their strong finish of a year ago.

During a season-ending four game winning streak, Notre Dame allowed only 9.8 points and 92 yards rushing per game.

T’eo was in the middle of it, even playing against Southern Cal with a broken nose. His 133 tackles last season were the most by an Irish defender since 1983. He leads a group of returning starters, including safety Harrison Smith and ends Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis Moore along with fellow linebacker Darius Fleming.