Football prospects across the nation are hoping to stand out to NFL teams as the draft creeps closer. Lately, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o has been a stand out for all the wrong reasons. To add a cherry on top of his poor national championship performance and strange off the field drama, Te’o’s NFL combine numbers were mediocre.
Many tuned in and joined the NFL in watching Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o perform at the combine on Monday, February 25. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian born 22 year old, most were unimpressed to say the least. Te’o’s 40 yard dash time stood out most for the wrong reason being way off the mark set for linebackers by Missouri’s Zaviar Gooden at 4.47 seconds. Te’o’s time was 4.82 seconds, .35 seconds longer than Goodan and a big gap when it comes 40 yard dash times.
ESPN’s John Clayton said that, “Manti Te’o’s 40 time is far more damaging to draft stock than his fake girlfriend.”
Manti also didn't score well in his vertical jump and three cone drill and didn't compete in the bench press and 60 yard shuttle. Te’o will hope to improve his times on Notre Dame’s upcoming Pro Day, the last chance to impress or scare off NFL teams.
Te’o had this to say when referring to his performance, “I can obviously do better. That’s what pro days are for.”
Whether he improves or not, no one can deny his natural football abilities and that he will make a 2013 NFL roster.
At the end of the day one can only feel sad for Te’o when looking back on where he was to where he is now. The heisman trophy was in reach along with a probable top ten pick bid. But sometimes the tide changes or rolls over you in Manti’s case. Te’o now has to be hopeful that he’s even taken in the first round.