"If there's anything I can say, the heavenly Father answers prayers in ways you don't know," Te'o said.
"And you may not see it at the time. At the time, it may seem like the odds of something happening are crazy. I've been an example that if you pray and actually listen and have faith, he will provide a way for you to do it. I'm grateful I was smart enough to listen."
Te'o came back for this, to lead Notre Dame one more time, and his team followed to 12 wins and no losses and a No. 1 ranking and a BCS title game berth on Jan. 7. What he could not have considered as even a possibility was the Heisman Trophy decision that arrives on Dec. 8 and, possibly, renders him a legend.
Weeks ago, as the Notre Dame community rallied around him after the death of his grandmother and girlfriend, he said he knew he made the right decision to return. He didn't know how right he was.
"Notre Dame should be at the top," Te'o said. "I'm just grateful to be part of that whole process."