As former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o does his best to stay out of the media spotlight until the NFL draft, a couple of people who have been working out with him say the bizarre story of his fake dead girlfriend was only an issue for one day of his pre-Combine workouts.
Former Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert, who is working out with Te’o at the IMG Academy in Florida, says Te’o is committed to his pre-draft work.
“Manti has been the same Manti I went to college with,’’ Eifert told ESPN.com. “He left to do the Katie Couric interview for one day and I think he was back that same night. He’s been out on the field working just like he’s always worked. I’ve tried to be there for him, but I don’t know that he’s needed all that much help because he’s such a strong person to begin with.’’
Chris Weinke, the former NFL quarterback who is now director of football operations at IMG Academy, offered the same assessment.
“He missed precisely one day,’’ Weinke said. “He’s gone about his business and been the same guy all along. I really admire that because a lot of guys his age would not be able to handle this as well as he has. I haven’t seen any signs of it being a distraction and I expect him to go up to Indianapolis and have a great Combine.’’
If Te’o does have a great Combine, it could go a long way toward convincing NFL teams that Te’o's off-field distractions are behind him.