Carrier said that Te'o has decided to forgo his mission, a move not uncommon among the growing ranks of high-profile Mormon athletes.
"Young men are encouraged to serve as missionaries if they are able," said LDS church spokesman Michael Purdy. "However, each individual must decide whether or not to serve a full-time mission."
Former Brigham Young University quarterback Steve Young opted not to participate in a Mormon mission. Instead he jumped to the NFL, eventually leading the San Francisco 49ers to a Super Bowl victory and earning a place in football's Hall of Fame.
"It's a tough position to be in," said Ane, Te'o's high school coach. "I think he has such a small window to compete and get his message out. I think (Te'o's) thinking he wants to do as much as he can in this mission as opposed to a mission in another country."
Carrier said Te'o's decision to skip a mission was a difficult one.
"He felt like he could do more staying playing football than going out and serving a mission," the bishop said."He understands his role and the pressure put on him of being such a good role model, and he understands that's part of his responsibility."
Te'o has been vocal about the role his faith plays in his life and how he leaned on it earlier this year after both his grandmother and girlfriend died in the span of less than two days during football season. His girlfriend died after battling leukemia. Te'o stayed with the team throughout the ordeal, playing one of the best games of his career the following Saturday.
"Four years ago I made the decision to come here and I didn't really know why," Te'o told a pep rally before that game. "It's times like these I know why. I love each and every one of you, and I can't thank you enough."
"I know one thing for sure -- I will see them again," he said of his grandmother and girlfriend after their deaths. "I have faith and have peace knowing I will spend the rest of life after this with the people whom I love."
The lines spoke to the Mormon emphasis on families that are bonded for eternity. But then Te'o returned to a mode more familiar to Notre Dame. "I love you guys," he told the crowd. "Go Irish!"