Te’o keen to put hoax behind him and concentrate on matters on the field.
Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o believes the online hoax that fooled him will not affect his upcoming draft prospects.
After shutting down his Twitter account and ruling out a return to social media in the immediate future, Te’o has shied away from publicly speaking about the incident.
He acknowledged falling in love with a non-existent woman invented by another man, who insists Te’o was unaware of the scam during their online relationship.
Despite telling people he really had a girlfriend who had died of cancer even after he found out he had been the victim of a hoax, Te’o is now keen to move on with his football and concentrate on his career.
“I have to go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me,” he told USA Today. “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.
“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.”
The NFL combine begins on Wednesday night in Indianapolis, and the Heisman Trophy runner-up is likely to face some uncomfortable questions, ones he hopes won’t affect his stock in the April 25-27 draft.
Te’o will be put under intense pressure along with other draft picks in 15-minute interview sessions with the 32 team executives. Calling on support from former Olympic star Lewis Johnson, Te’o says he will be honest and not ashamed of what happened.
NFL Draft Scout expert Rob Rang shared his belief in the USA Today report that he still has Te’o going in the first round, perhaps to the Baltimore Ravens, and that despite being slightly naive his impressive college performances make his stand-out.