Notre Dame's home game against No. 17 Stanford (4-1) on Saturday will be special for linebacker Manti Te'o.
And for the linebacker, it has nothing to do with the hoopla of ESPN's "College GameDay" and "Mike & Mike in the Morning" coming to campus this weekend.
Te'o's parents, Ottilia and Brian, will be in the stands for the No. 7 Irish's game. And the senior lit up Wednesday when talking about the chance to play in front of his parents at home.
"It's special," Te'o said of his parents, who landed in South Bend about a half-hour before his afternoon news conference. "I've been playing in front them ever since I was 8 years old. That feeling never leaves. It never gets old.
"It is always a special feeling when you know two people who sacrificed the most for you to be here are in the stands. And they are watching someone who they have given everything they've had.
"Hopefully, my dream is to help them live their dream, too. It is always exciting, and it is going to be a special occasion to see them in the stands."
Te'o still remembers the first game his parents watched him play in Notre Dame Stadium, and how the Irish crowd helped create a special moment for him and his mother.
"That is when I knew all this hard work and all the sacrifice – the distance, the travel and all of that – was worth it," Te'o said. "It all started on that walk (to the stadium). My mom was crying. My dad was crying.
"My mom was actually in the back of the crowd, and I know everybody has a mother, but when you hear your mom's voice it stands out. Amidst all the hundreds of people out there, I hear my mom's voice. She's hollering in the back, and the Notre Dame community brought her up. They made way. They moved to the side so I could give her a hug. It was a very special moment for me."