By Roger Mari - bio | email
HONOLULU (KHNL) - While Manti Teo was getting swarmed by reporters, fans and other high school signees, his family waited quietly on the side. It was a chance to find out how they're going to get by when the eldest in their family heads to South Bend.
Brian Teos time on the sidelines with his son has ended. While Manti's high school football career is over, the future looks bright as he heads to Notre Dame. He will leave his home, friends and family for the next few years.
I've been there with him since he was 8. I'm going to miss him. It's going to be hard to see him go," said Father Manti Teo.
As the oldest child in the family, Manti was encouraged to do his best in representing himself, his home town of Kahuku and his family in the highest regard.
"We always told him to blaze his own trail and that's what he's done. I think he's leading the path for himself and the rest of his family," said Mother Ottilia Teo.
Over the years, Manti has turned the heads of dozens of college recruiters and high school sports analysts. He's the most highly touted high school football player to ever come out of Hawaii. Helmet on or off though, his family doesn't think all this attention will go to Manti's head.
"I don't really think of him as a celebrity. He's just my older brother who sometimes gets on my nerves," said Sister Tiare Teo.
"He's still the kid that takes the garbage out every night; he's still the guy who mows the lawn," said Brian Teo.
While Manti feels fortunate to be getting a free college education at Notre Dame, Mama Teo doesn't think her son will need the luck of the Irish once he graduates.
"When I put the pen to the paper, I was so happy for him. I'm excited that he's going to Notre Dame, I'm excited for the things he will do in the future."
Manti will get a full ride at the Notre Dame, saving his parents more than $36,000 a year in tuition.
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