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“It can be good or bad, depending on the player and team,” Te’o said. “It depends on how badly you want it. You can approach those 45 days as a pro. But if you just want to be in the national championship game and that’s enough, you’re obviously in trouble. Alabama has obviously been there a lot recently. You’ve got to act like you’ve been there, even if we haven’t.”

Kelly said he doesn’t see the Fighting Irish losing focus as long as Te’o is in the locker room leading the way.

“He’s a great student and he’s really been a role model for everybody in our program,” Kelly said. “When you put all of those things together he’s more than just a football player and I’m blessed that I had an opportunity to coach him.”