Manti Te’o might have run his way into a higher draft pick with an improved time in the 40-yard dash
POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 27, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 11:21 a.m. HST, Mar 27, 2013
SOUTH BEND, Ind. » Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o of Laie ended a trying three months by putting up a respectable 40-yard dash time Tuesday.
“I thought I did pretty good,” Te’o said after his pro day workout in front of scouts from 27 of 32 NFL teams. “I’m very pleased with the way that I performed.”
Some had expressed concern whether Te’o could be an every-down linebacker in the NFL after he was timed at 4.82 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine in Indianapolis.
But he was timed at 4.69 seconds at Notre Dame’s indoor practice facility, attributing the improvement to being more comfortable at home and around friends.
Te’o is hoping to be picked in the first round of next month’s NFL Draft.
He also bench-pressed 225 pounds 21 times and ran the 60-yard shuttle in 11.78 seconds.
The Heisman Trophy runner-up had an off game in the BCS championship game against Alabama in January.
He then came under scrutiny after it was revealed he fell in love online with a woman who didn’t exist and then had the disappointing time at the combine.
His performance Tuesday came as a relief.
“This is possibly the best day ever. It’s a big, big burden off your shoulders,” he said. “It feels like it’s your birthday.”
Te’o has already met with some NFL teams and has plans to meet with more. He said teams have different levels of interest in talking about how he was duped into having an online relationship with a fake girlfriend.
“Some guys just want to be brief on what happened. Some guys go into a little bit more depth,” he said.
He said teams haven’t asked him about being an every-down player, saying they want to know how he went from having no interceptions in his first three seasons to picking off seven as a senior.
Te’o said the key was losing weight, understanding where he was supposed to be and studying film to learn opponents’ tendencies.