CNHI News Service


February 26, 2013

It's much ado about Manti


Manti Te’o was college football’s brightest star this season before flaming out during a blowout loss against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. The later revelation that the October death of the Notre Dame linebacker’s girlfriend was a hoax — because, in fact, she never existed — brought a different kind of national attention his way.

Last weekend, he faced hundreds of media and said what he hopes are his final words on the scandal reportedly perpetrated by a supposed friend. He was looking forward at that time to Monday’s on-field workouts and turning the conversation back toward football.

That, too, might have been a mistake.

Te’o clocked in officially at 4.82 seconds in the combine’s signature event — the 40-yard dash — re-igniting the doubts about his ability to play at the NFL level that were highlighted when he and his Fighting Irish teammates got rolled by the Crimson Tide.

The average time for inside linebackers at last year’s combine was 4.77. The top player taken in last year’s draft at that position — Boston College’s Luke Kuechly at No. 10 by the Carolina Panthers — clocked in at 4.58.

So what does all of this mean?

Most likely, not much.

The scouting consensus has been that Te’o probably was a little overrated early in the year when top-10 projections were floating around in the media. He came into Indianapolis as a late first-round prospect. And, by all accounts, he left Indianapolis on Monday as a late first-round prospect.

He could be on the board when the Colts pick at No. 24, but inside linebacker is one of the few positions with real depth on their roster.

Still, general manager Ryan Grigson’s words of caution Thursday about putting too much stock into combine performances seem appropriate here.

Text Only
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Posturing, predictions fly as SEC turns to a new season

    Little news is truly made at the Southeastern Conference's media days, where players and coaches predict, insinuate and deflect in advance of this fall's college football season.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams

    Can LeBron James change Cleveland sports history? Overcoming this city's tortured curse could prove impossible - even for the world's best basketball player.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.40.20 AM.png VIDEO: Sleeping fan suing Yankees, ESPN for $10M

    A fan caught on camera sleeping during a recent game at Yankee Stadium has filed suit against the Yankees and ESPN, claiming he suffered emotional distress when two announcers mocked him on the air.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg U.S. loss on World Cup pitch was a win back home

    Exuberant fans - even those who couldn't tell you what offsides means - cheered on the U.S. men's national team during the World Cup in Brazil. Are those fans excited enough to keep watching soccer now that the United States has been eliminated?

    July 3, 2014 1 Photo