Watch:

Dr. Saturday

Manti Te’o writes emotional email to parents of dying 12-year-old girl

Frank Schwab
Dr. Saturday

View photo

.

(US Presswire)

Manti Te'o continues to impress. Only a small part of the great work he does is on the field for Notre Dame.

The senior linebacker is one of the best players in the country, but the best stories of Te'o this season have been how well he has represented himself, his family and Notre Dame.

FoxSports' Greg Couch wrote a great story about how Te'o took the time to write an email to the parents of Bridget Smith, a 12-year-old girl who was dying of cancer. The email reached the family on Oct. 5, Bridget's last day. Bridget's parents got the email hours before they unplugged Bridget's ventilator.

Read the story. It's sad and beautiful. It's a great glimpse into Te'o and his character, and the best of what sports has to offer.

[Pat Forde: Notre Dame faces breakthrough game against Oklahoma]

According to the story, Notre Dame officials had no idea he wrote the letter, and Te'o didn't publicize it to anyone. Te'o heard about the girl through a mutual friend. He didn't know her. Bridget Smith loved Notre Dame football and Te'o.

Te'o drew upon his own grieving when he wrote the email. He lost his grandmother and his girlfriend earlier this year. Couch's story said the heartfelt email, if written out, would probably have been about two pages long.

"We opened that letter that morning, and it was just a bright spot on the saddest day of our lives,'' Bridget's mother Louise Smith told Couch. "We read it to her; we shared with her what it said. They say hearing is the last thing to go. I don't know. I believe she internalized it.

[Video: Who's on upset alert in Week 9?]

"It's so encouraging to have someone in that position know there's something more important than football, more important than athletics. It was a beautiful letter, just sharing the experience with the death of his girlfriend.''

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told the New York Times that Te'o was such a great match for the Fighting Irish because of the person he is, the fit seemed "preordained." Te'o has 69 tackles and four interceptions in seven games. His Heisman Trophy candidacy should also include the things that aren't seen on Saturday.

"I still constantly pray for Bridget and her family,'' Te'o said. "You know, Bridget's in a better place now. She's with my girlfriend. There's no better place to be.''

- - -
Got a tip for Dr. Saturday? Email us at dr.saturday@ymail.com . You can also connect with us via Twitter @YahooDrSaturday and be sure to "Like" Dr. Saturday on Facebook for football conversations and stuff you won't see on the blog.

Related college football video on Yahoo! Sports

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Fake Verlander shirt gets Web into a stir
NFL peers rate Tim Tebow as league's most overrated player
Lolo Jones makes U.S. bobsled team just weeks after first attempt
Y! News: In Georgia, cast a vote, enter a gun raffle

View Comments (616)
  • FIFA's Blatter faces division and suspicion as fifth term begins

    FIFA's Blatter faces division and suspicion as fifth term begins

    By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA President Sepp Blatter began his fifth term at the helm of soccer's governing body on Saturday facing the daunting task of restoring public faith in an organization tainted by allegations of corruption and … More »

    Reuters - 3 minutes 44 seconds ago
  • FIFA's Blatter faces division and suspicion as 5th term begins

    FIFA's Blatter faces division and suspicion as 5th term begins

    By Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - FIFA President Sepp Blatter began his fifth term at the helm of soccer's governing body on Saturday facing the daunting task of restoring public faith in an organisation tainted by allegations of corruption and … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Farah surges to year's fastest 10,000 metres

    Farah surges to year's fastest 10,000 metres

    Olympic and world champion Mo Farah kept his four-year winning streak over 10,000 metres intact in running the year's fastest time of 26 minutes, 50.97 seconds at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting on Friday. Briton Farah, challenged by … More »

    Reuters - 17 minutes ago
  • Sharks take bite out of Rebels’ cause

    South Africa’s Sharks provided a knockout blow to the Melbourne Rebel’s Super Rugby playoff hopes with a 25-21 victory at King’s Park on Friday. The Rebels, who played for 52 minutes with 14 men after a red card for prop Laurie Weeks, have 31 … More »

    Reuters - 30 minutes ago
  • Blatter wins fifth FIFA term as challenger concedes

    Blatter wins fifth FIFA term as challenger concedes

    By Mike Collett and Brian Homewood ZURICH (Reuters) - Sepp Blatter was re-elected president of FIFA for a fifth term on Friday after his only challenger conceded defeat in an election overshadowed by allegations of rampant corruption in world … More »

    Reuters - 31 minutes ago