Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o preps for the upcoming NFL scouting combine.
BRADENTON, Fla. — When the NFL’s scouting combine gets underway in Indianapolis on Wednesday, Manti Te’o figures to be the center of attention for reasons few could have imagined a month and a half ago when the college football season came to a close.
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports on Monday afternoon, the former Notre Dame linebacker confided that he doesn’t believe his now infamous scandal involving a fake online girlfriend will affect his stock in the April 25-27 draft.
The Heisman Trophy runner-up’s belief that he remains a first-round pick may be put to the test under the intense scrutiny he is about to face from 32 team executives during 15-minute interview sessions beginning Wednesday night.
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“I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me,” he told USA TODAY Sports between workouts at IMG Academy Monday. “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.”
Te’o says he shut down his Twitter account Feb. 5, and admits he’s not sure if he’s going to return to social media.
“It’s been a distraction for me,” he said, “so I needed to get rid of it.”
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