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Four-star linebacker Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa announced his commitment to Notre Dame on Sunday. However, the California-native may not have had the Irish atop his list of suitors. He pulled a Manti Te’o.
Viliamu-Asa, a Class of 2024 recruit, stands 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and plays for St. John Bosco. His presence on the second level played a huge role in the West Coast powerhouse program’s state championship last year and he is considered one of the top-15 players at his position.
Viliamu-Asa has 23 offers from many of the top college football programs in the country. Ohio State, USC, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Oregon, Michigan, Tennessee and Georgia were all in the mix, among others.
In the end, Viliamu-Asa chose Notre Dame.
Although he is headed to South Bend next year, Viliamu-Asa admitted that he never really saw himself playing for the Golden Domers. He had two other schools in mind, but felt a greater calling.
Honestly man I couldn’t see myself there (Notre Dame), but I could at the other two schools.
I felt God wanted me to have faith, which required trusting in what I could not see.— Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa, via Hayes Fawcett of On3
The decision was a lot like that of Te’o, an Irish linebacker 11 years his elder.
Manti Te’o never saw himself at Notre Dame.
From the beginning, Te’o was most interested in playing for USC. It was the program that he grew up watching and loving. He even told his friends and family that he was going to commit to the Trojans.
However, as a member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, faith was big for Te’o. His father told him to ask God for reassurance with his desire to play in Los Angeles.
I told my family I was going to go to SC. My dad was like, ‘OK. That’s good. Make sure you pray about it.’ The next day, I’m sitting in class and I say, ‘Heavenly father, I want to go to SC. But if you want me to go somewhere else, help me.’— Manti Te’o, via Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist
Not long thereafter, Te’o got a sign from God when he ran into his mentor and told him his plan to play for USC.
He was like, ‘You’re going to go to SC, and you’re going to be the next great Polynesian football player. I just always thought you’d go to a place like Notre Dame and be the only Manti Te’o’ […]
I stood up. I walked out of the room and I knew … I knew that the Lord was trying to tell me something.— Manti Te’o, via Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist
It ended up being the right decision for Te’o.
Now, 11 years later, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa is following a similar calling. If history shows anything, he too will reflect back on his decision with pride.