Manti Te'o to return to Notre Dame

Junior inside linebacker Manti Te'o announced Sunday he will return to Notre Dame Fighting Irish for his senior season.

ESPN's Mel Kiper projected Te'o as the 13th overall pick if he chose to enter the NFL draft this season. Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay predicted Te'o as the 15th pick.

Te'o leads the Irish this season in tackles (115), tackles for loss (13) and sacks (4.5). For his career, the Laie, Hawaii, native has 311 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 6½ sacks.

Te'o made the announcement at the Lott IMPACT Trophy awards banquet in Newport Beach, Calif. Te'o was one of four finalists for the award, which Boston College's Luke Kuechly won.

The Irish close the 2011 season Dec. 29 against Florida State at the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

Matt Fortuna covers Notre Dame for ESPN.com