Te’o will get have increased role against USC

Notre Dame and USC, two historic rivals, not only compete on the field but also in the high school recruiting process.

USC’s most recent recruiting class is laden with talent — punctuated by true freshman signal-caller Matt Barkley. But there will always be those players that elude USC coach Pete Carroll’s grasp.

One such player, linebacker Manti Te’o, has shorn up a suspect Notre Dame defense that has lagged behind a high-powered offense for most of the season. He was first drawn to Notre Dame after watching the Irish’s classic game against the Trojans in which Reggie Bush pushed Matt Leinart over the goal line for the 34-31 victory.

Although Te’o is still young, Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has decided that the ways in which Te’o can impact a game more than compensate for his occasional gaffes that stem from his inexperience, and plans to increase the freshman’s playing time against USC.

Te’o will see the Trojans next Saturday in South Bend.