When the Vikings and Chargers meet this Sunday in Minnesota, a pair of former Notre Dame teammates will oppose each other – Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph and Chargers LB Manti Te'o. This matchup between former college teammates is the subject of this week's Ticketmaster Hot Matchup.
Rudolph and Te'o were Fighting Irish teammates for two seasons, with Rudolph's tenure spanning three seasons from 2008-10 and Te'o's spanning four seasons from 2009-12. Notre Dame was 14-11 in those two seasons with Rudolph and Te'o on the roster together, including a bowl victory over the University of Miami. In that bowl game, S Harrison Smith had three interceptions for Notre Dame.
Both Rudolph and Te'o were standouts during their time at Notre Dame.
Rudolph set the program record for TE single-game receiving yards with 164 versus rival Michigan in 2010, a game in which he also set the Notre Dame record for longest play with a 95-yard TD catch-and-run. He finished his career ranked fourth among all TEs in school history with 90 career receptions and with 1,032 receiving yards. Rudolph became the first true freshman to start a season opener at Notre Dame in 2008 and after his junior season was selected in the second round (No. 43) by the Vikings.
Te'o was a productive and durable star for the Notre Dame defense. He played in 51 games during his career and led the team in tackles in both 2010 (133) and 2011 (128). In Te'o's senior season, Notre Dame was 12-1 and played Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game, losing 42-14 in a game in which Te'o was credited with 10 tackles. Following his senior season, Te'o was also selected in the second round (No. 38 overall).
Other current Vikings who were teammates at Notre Dame with Te'o are Smith and Robert Blanton, both of whom played for the Fighting Irish from 2008-11 and were teammates with Te'o for three seasons (2009-11).
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