Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o says he’s planning to put on a show with a great workout at the Scouting Combine. And he says what he’s able to do between the white lines should be all people care about.
Te’o knows that plenty of people are going to ask him about his fake dead girlfriend and the media circus that erupted around that bizarre story, but he told USA Today that he doesn’t see why that would affect his draft stock.
“I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me,” Te’o said. “What I did on the field is what I did on the field. I don’t think what I did with this whole situation, I don’t understand how it takes away from what I did on the field.”
Te’o did acknowledge that he needs to “be more honest” after he continued to tell people that he really had a girlfriend who had died of cancer, even after he found out he had been the victim of a hoax. But he said that the only thing he can do about his draft stock is perform well at the Combine.
“As far as my stock dropping or rising, that’s not up to me. The only thing I have to do is just do well, run fast, just be myself, be quick,” Te’o said.
Te’o says the team that picks him is going to get a great inside linebacker.
“I just want them to know, whoever picks me just let them know that you’re choosing someone who loves the game,” Te’o said. “I want to be the best at it.”
In college, Te’o was the best: His mantel is full of awards for being the best linebacker and best defensive player in the country. So it’s easy to see why all he wants to be judged on is what he did on the field.