Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Pressure on Te'o at combine
By Tom Carpenter
Notre Dame NFL prospect Manti Te'o told USA Today that he doesn't think his off-field issues should affect his draft status.
"I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me," he said 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."
Certainly his performance in combine drills this weekend will play a critical role in where he ends up being taken in the draft, but so, too, will his interviews, Wonderlic Test, and even his press conference:
John ClaytonQBs and Te'o have much to prove
"Last year, Robert Griffin III held the most impressive combine news conference I've witnessed in 23 years of covering the combine. He was engaging, personable and smart. Griffin showed great poise in answering questions and handled football questions intelligently. Te'o will be holding one of the most important news conferences in combine history. During Notre Dame's undefeated regular season, Te'o often discussed the death of his girlfriend. But it turns out she never existed. Te'o now describes it as an online-only relationship and says he was the victim of a hoax. He will have to answer the national media's questions about what happened and address it with every team in interviews. Most people believe his draft stock won't drop because of the incident, but that could change if he doesn't handle the combine well."