FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o says it was "easy" to get past college football's award season and get focused on the BCS championship against Alabama.
No. 1 Notre Dame will play the second-ranked Crimson Tide on Monday night for the national title. On Thursday morning, Alabama's stars on offense and Notre Dame's defensive leaders spoke to reporters.
Te'o was the Heisman Trophy runner-up and won a bevy of other awards in mid-December, requiring him to travel around the country to various dinners and ceremonies. But Te'o says once he got back to his teammates, he was in his comfort zone.
Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco says that Te'o has worked harder in the last week of practice than he has all season.
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