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Te'o could drop in NFL draft after girlfriend hoax, expert says

By Barry Wilner

AP Pro Football Writer

LAST UPDATED: 12:25 p.m. HST, Jan 17, 2013

Here's the real story: Manti Te'o's stock in the NFL draft already was sinking.

Blame his performance in the BCS title game, not any hoax or conspiracy, for that.

Still, the uncertainty surrounding Notre Dame's All-American linebacker could further hurt his draft stock, NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt said.

Brandt called the story "something I have never witnessed" in his half-century in pro football.

"I think some teams will say it isn't worth the problem" to draft Te'o, said Brandt, who has the linebacker rated 19th overall in the first round.

The former Dallas Cowboys general manager added today that Te'o's stock had plummeted after a poor performance in the BCS championship game.

"I don't think anybody considered him to be a top-five pick before all this happened," Brandt said. "In that game against Alabama, this was like a guy who was the best shooter in the world in basketball and here comes a game and he can't even hit the backboard. His play in that game was absolutely horrible. He missed on run blitzes; guys ran over him ..."

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery said "it's no different what the red flags are."

"You've got to identify them," he said. "You've got to research it and then you decide what impact that has on the total person in terms of his ability to play football and to manage his life."

David Schwab, a senior executive at sports management firm Octagon, considered Te'o perhaps the most marketable player coming into this year's draft. As the face of a Notre Dame team that returned to national relevance, the Heisman Trophy runner-up had the name recognition of few college stars.

"Compassionate" and "heartwarming" were some of the adjectives Schwab would have used to describe his image.

Now, that persona will depend on the details that emerge about the story of a girlfriend who didn't exist.

"If he truly had nothing to do with it, I think the long-term damage is zero," said Schwab, who specializes in matching companies to celebrities.

In the short term, it's unlikely to see Te'o promoting any products, because a public appearance would turn into an impromptu news conference about the hoax. If uncertainty lingers about exactly what happened, Schwab said, many companies may hesitate to sign him.

But even if Te'o is implicated in the hoax, he could still eventually turn into a sponsor's dream if he blossoms as an NFL star.

"If you perform on the field, you quickly become marketable," Schwab said.

Look no further than Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens linebacker who was charged with murder in 2000. The charges were dropped after Lewis agreed to testify against two other men and he subsequently pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice. This week he's a beloved figure heading into the AFC championship with retirement looming.

Te'o would hardly be the first player to see his draft stock sink because of off-field issues. Last year, North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins fell to the second round after multiple run-ins with the law related to marijuana got him dismissed from Florida.

Warren Sapp in 1995 and Randy Moss in 1998 slid because of character concerns; both are now considered potential Hall of Famers.

Teams may be less likely to take a risk on Te'o in the draft if they don't believe he can become a dominant player.

Brandt noted how the inside linebacker position doesn't carry as much importance in the NFL as it once did. In the last 10 years, only four inside linebackers were taken in the first round, although one of them was perennial All-Pro Patrick Willis of San Francisco.

"I think it would be different if it was a quarterback who would change the game," he said. "But linebackers are a piece to the puzzle; they don't solve the puzzle. Other than Ray Lewis, I don't know of any linebacker you say, 'We've got to have this guy.'

"(Inside) linebackers are not as important as they used to be. We're down to one or two first-round linebackers now."

Brandt wondered how Te'o could be so effective during the season, including seven interceptions — "unheard of, like hitting .450 in baseball" — and then so unproductive in the championship game.

"Between now and 97 days from now when the draft comes, there'll be a lot of people investigating just what took place," he said.


Andrew Seligman in Lake Forest, Ill., contributed to this story.


I loved Te'o, hoaxer tells Dr. Phil

Kelly doesn't know if hoax affected Teo's play

Dr. Phil to interview alleged girlfriend hoaxer Tuiasosopo

Te’o sheds more light

Face of Te'o's girlfriend says hoaxster confessed

Notre Dame president defends handling of Te'o

Voice of Te’o prankster? Couric plays voicemails

As debate raged at ESPN, Te’o story slipped away

'What would you do' Te'o tells Couric

Woman in Te'o fake girlfriend photo speaks out

NFL teams get their turn at Te'o

Records link California home and Te'o case

Alleged mastermind of Te'o hoax may tell his story

Te'o to be interviewed by Katie Couric

Te'o regrets tainting name

Records link California home and Te'o case

Te'o provides answers, but more may be asked

'There is no way I could be a part of this'

Te'o not alone in claiming online wishful thinking

EXCLUSIVE: Woman tried new hoax in December call to Te'o

Te'o denies being part of dead girlfriend hoax

Alleged architect of Manti Te'o dead girlfriend hoax reportedly confesses

Man admitted duping Te'o, woman tells ESPN

Notre Dame to Te'o: Time to speak up

'Catfish' jumps to prominence amid murky Te'o hoax

Residents rally around hometown hero

History of a hoax

With Te'o silent, questions about hoax mount

Te'o spoke of girlfriend after hoax revelation

Damaging silence

Manziel shocked by Te'o girlfriend hoax

Draft guru: Te'o's stock took hit before hoax

Te'o mentioned 'girlfriend' twice recently

Timeline of Te'o quotes in girlfriend hoax story

Te'o interview 'scrapped'

Laie backs Te'o after girlfriend hoax

Te'o could drop in NFL draft after girlfriend hoax, expert says

Fundraiser 'shell-shocked' by Te'o girlfriend hoax

Ex-Cardinal fullback says he met Te'o's girlfriend

Football star's dead girlfriend an online hoax

At this point, who really knows what to believe?

The naive get reeled in when 'catfish' nibble online

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Anonymous wrote:
Luckily for him. Maybe he could drop way down and be a Patriot, Raven or 49er...
on January 17,2013 | 07:11AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
on January 17,2013 | 07:34AM
FrankieT wrote:
Gee, a Steeler fan with the name "HawaiiCheeseBall" sounds like a little cheese head in your life, are you sure your not a Packers fan? :-)
on January 17,2013 | 08:40AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Packers! ack! ack! Don't hurt me man! That Aaron Rodgers is really great though.
on January 17,2013 | 10:46AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
on January 17,2013 | 09:02AM
allie wrote:
Niners don't want the wimp that showed up in the bama game. He is strictly a third rounder
on January 17,2013 | 09:17AM
fishwrider wrote:
Hey genius, you figure out the difference between the cab and the bed of a truck? See postings from this gender confused troll on the accident involving a child who died in an accident. allie wrote: RIP Umm..why put a boy of 3 in the cab of a truck????? This should be outlawed on January 10,2013 | 08:56AM allie wrote: I grew up in rrual North Dakota. My Mom woudl never have put any child in the cab of a truck. People out here seem to lack the first clue as to how to drive. on January 10,2013 | 09:38AM
on January 17,2013 | 09:36AM
Nevadan wrote:
Are you trying to be an allie biographer?
on January 17,2013 | 09:51AM
allie wrote:
giggle..he is a bizarre stalker. I see a lot of that at work in Waikiki.
on January 17,2013 | 10:17AM
Fred01 wrote:
He's got some big ego problems!
on January 17,2013 | 11:42AM
fishwrider wrote:
"giggle"? nice try sir.
on January 17,2013 | 01:48PM
aomohoa wrote:
Are you sure you're being stalked? Maybe they think you want to make some extra money on the street:)
on January 17,2013 | 06:39PM
fishwrider wrote:
No, are you trying to land a date with him? Let me know.
on January 17,2013 | 01:59PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Nothing like reality drama in today's society. Do you know this story is off the hook! Espn.com has more hits then Gangnam style! With that said, Teo is still top notch recruit. He will prove that on the field. As far as Ray Lewis, maybe Manti will take his place. I'm sure all those awards did not come by sympathy. He proved he was the best as we witnessed the most decorated college football player in NCAA history.
on January 17,2013 | 12:39PM
allie wrote:
The hoax fiasco is mild compared to his poor play against his first major competition. I still think he will be drafted and should have sort of an average career.
on January 17,2013 | 10:16AM
primo1 wrote:
Raiders. They thrive on this kind of stuff.
on January 17,2013 | 10:23AM
PokeStop wrote:
Don't think those teams want a player with excess baggage. Can you "imagine" Belichick and the Harbaugh's brothers dealing with situation? Veterans like Ray Lewis, Patrick Willis, Gronkowski, etc. would light this kid up! Manti, your future is coaching football at your alma mater Punahou School. Kids are protected in their own little world on the Wilder/Punahou St. campus!
on January 17,2013 | 07:29AM
NEtrades wrote:
What? Still upset you (or your kids) never get in?
on January 17,2013 | 08:39AM
false wrote:
on January 17,2013 | 09:01AM
busterb wrote:
I'd love to see Ray Lewis light him up. Exactly how would that happen seeing that they are both LBs? LOL Better take them meds...
on January 17,2013 | 09:43AM
fishwrider wrote:
take your meds and go lie down in your cardboard box. you'll feel better.
on January 17,2013 | 09:39AM
realist3463 wrote:
He had to know immediately it was a hoax and yet it took this long for the hoax to surface. I wonder if he was looking for the sympathy factor to influence the Heisman voters? Maybe he is not such a good guy and role model for our grandkids after all.
on January 17,2013 | 07:29AM
false wrote:
If he was looking for the sympathy thing that would be really shallow. I hope thing work out well.
on January 17,2013 | 09:02AM
allie wrote:
HGe needs to come clean and apologize first
on January 17,2013 | 09:18AM
fishwrider wrote:
It wouldn't be a blog if allie wasn't here bright and early posting “her” (i.e. really a “him”, read below) broken record posts about how bad everything about/related to Hawaii is. Message board MO is a "UH coed freshman from North Dakota" so as not to be revealed as a straight-up outsider loser with an axe to grind. Problem with the MO is that she's claimed to be a freshman on these blogs for the last three years (the three year freshman program?). FYI, "allie" was outed as an older guy a few months back when “she” slipped and commented about Hawaii HS football in the '80's and '90's as well as a number of other past local events/people. allie claimed that "she" played volleyball in North Dakota and was INVITED to walk-on at UH. I'VE VERIFIED AND KNOW FOR A FACT THAT NO ONE FROM NORTH DAKOTA WAS ASKED TO WALK-ON...EVER. When confronted with that, allie then claimed that she asked to tryout and wasn't INVITED. Changing her story to cover her lies is getting pathetic. This phony also slipped when she claimed that her professor commented about Colt Brennan being irresponsible and morally corrupt for driving drunk on the day BEFORE the story came out in the SA. The problem was that Colt was arrested at midnight, AFTER allie's supposed class. Allie also commented that Colorado State’s football woes are ok because unlike Hawaii they’re a “1st Tier” school (this was false as well since UH and CSU are in the same tier per US News and World Report). You tell me what UH “student” would diss their school in so many ways. ANSWER: A poster who isn’t really a UH coed but rather a GUY masquerading as one. Allie also claimed she could have easily attended Duke if she tried. Another tall tale as there is no way of knowing this without applying. He’s a man, man!! WATCH OUT BOYS!!!!!! LOL.
on January 17,2013 | 09:37AM
Nevadan wrote:
You need to learn to write before you can become any one's biographer. No sensible person would waste her (his) time reading all that elongated garbage. Think, and condense your thoughts!
on January 17,2013 | 09:55AM
Fred01 wrote:
Dude, you have serious problems!
on January 17,2013 | 11:42AM
fishwrider wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on January 17,2013 | 01:52PM
Fred01 wrote:
Just wondering why a troll like yourself is so obsessed?
on January 17,2013 | 02:50PM
Hapa_Haole_Boy wrote:
allie = lennay kekua
on January 17,2013 | 12:53PM
fishwrider wrote:
LOL!!!! and Fred01 and Nevadan would be Manti . They're fooled and in love with the virtual "allie".
on January 17,2013 | 01:54PM
Fred01 wrote:
Haha! And fishwrider = Jerry Sandusky!
on January 17,2013 | 02:53PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Come on now. Every year they have players nailed for DUI, domestic violence and theft and a whole host of other things not to mention just general character flaws and they still go in the first round. In the NFL they just want to know if the guy can play and if there is a reasonable chance that he won't do anything profoundly stupid like getting arrested that would make it impossible for them to suit up on Sunday. I always thought Manti's big problem was trying to explain his play during the Alabama game, but perhaps now we may know what was up with that.
on January 17,2013 | 07:38AM
BigIsandLava wrote:
Why is everyone is so bent out of shape over this. I for one am happy for Manti. Now that his fantasy girlfriend is not dead, he can stop praying for her and continue his online, fantasy relationship. My friend said if this was a hoax, it could've been the work of the Mormons trying to get back at Manti for going to a Catholic institution. Ummmmm, you never know.
on January 17,2013 | 07:41AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
First we need to see who's doing the lying. One side said Manti is a victim of a hoax. But the family said they saw the girl and met her several times. There was hand-holding and gazing into eyes. How does that happen with a person that does not exist? Get to the bottom of this and then we can talk about positioning in the draft.
on January 17,2013 | 08:06AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Didn't Michael Vicks get federal time? Then come back to start in the NFL......? Cmon man....
on January 17,2013 | 02:35PM
jisurfer wrote:
I heard on Mike and Mike, that this probably wouldn't effect his draft situation. He'll be fine, just a lesson learned.
on January 17,2013 | 08:11AM
builderguy wrote:
Some serious money went away
on January 17,2013 | 08:12AM
olos73 wrote:
Something backfired...
on January 17,2013 | 08:15AM
frontman wrote:
Your the ignorant one..
on January 17,2013 | 10:06AM
fishwrider wrote:
on January 17,2013 | 01:58PM
Fred01 wrote:
Yep, there you are troll!
on January 17,2013 | 02:54PM
fairgame947 wrote:
Let's wait until all the facts are in before we make judgment. He can play the game, girlfriend or no girlfriend, hoax or no.
on January 17,2013 | 10:09AM
Sully77 wrote:
POKESTOP, you need to STOP....lol talking negative about PUNAHOU, you know nothing about punahou until you have a child go there, or have experience punahou first-hand. I have!! may be you should try applying your child there and see what happens. it could be the best decision you've ever made for your child's education. they have wonderful folks there.
on January 17,2013 | 10:13AM
Fred01 wrote:
Punahou people are the WORST!
on January 17,2013 | 02:54PM
chuck4664 wrote:
1st, get drafted, 2nd make the team, 3rd make all pro, 4th, super bowl.5th manti te'o gets the last laugh
on January 17,2013 | 10:38AM
awahana wrote:
First Colt Brennan, now Teo. Sports figures are just that. Not to be taken seriously, or consequences abound. Imua Laie. LOL.
on January 17,2013 | 11:29AM
oahufish wrote:
I agree with the theory that Manit Ta'o is gay. It would be very convenient to have a distant girlfriend to explain why he doesn't date. Coming out of the closet at a Catholic School such as Notre Dame would be devastating for him, the football program and the school. The advantage of having her pass away is that he no longer needs to make up stories of why he rarely see's her, with him in mourning over the loss he'll have an alibi for the next couple year's to get him through the draft and his first few season's as a pro. After that it probably doesn't matter, he'll be hailed as the first Pro Football player to be brave enough to come out of the closet.
on January 17,2013 | 11:32AM
TAMASAMOA684685 wrote:
A New Yorker will tell you the kid seems sincere. The New York media's already saying its catfishing lol its ok nobody die mr. cowboi
on January 17,2013 | 12:19PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
Let's face it, Manti Te'o will do anything to get ahead. Look at his days in Kahuku when he asked his cousin for the football while under a pile of players so that he can take credit for a fumble recovery which really was not his. Why no one saw anything wrong with that is amazing. It tells you a lot about his character.
on January 17,2013 | 01:25PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
So Teo, was the most decorated college player because his cousin was there to give him da fumble? Cmon man....the haters love to hate a success story.
on January 17,2013 | 02:34PM
oxtail01 wrote:
BS, an NFL team would draft a mass murderer #1 if they thought the guy was an unbvelievable player.
on January 17,2013 | 01:26PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Perhaps it would behoove HSA and everyone else in this immense comment business to verify identities before allowing anyone to speak, then we would not have all of these off the wall comments.

Anonymity hurts rather than helps in this Information Superhighway World in the sense that when we just know that we have a ski mask on, we let it all hang out. Verifying Identities would have helped Manti.

Then again all of these comments are just for the fun of it, just for basically social interaction. No one takes any comment seriously. Unless ..... One is identified .... Positively ... Like Gene Park. Btw i wonder what happened to Gene?

on January 17,2013 | 03:20PM
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