Manti Te’o is an NFL linebacker currently playing for the New Orleans Saints. He finished his college football career in Notre Dame, where he received eight national awards and an All-American Consensus. The Hawaiian-Samoan descent began his NFL career in 2013 with the San Diego Chargers after finishing 38th overall in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Below are details about his life and career.
Manti’s full name is Manti Malietau Louis Te’o. He was born on January 26, 1991, in Laie, Hawaii, to parents Ottilia and Brian Te’o. He is of Samoan descent and has five siblings – four sisters (Eden, BrieAnne, Maya, and Tiare) and a brother named Manasseh.
He began playing soccer while attending the Punahou School in Manoa, Honolulu. As a youth, he won both the Honolulu Advertiser Defensive Player of the Year and the Gatorade Player of the Year awards. By the end of his junior season, he had ninety tackles and five sacks on defense and 400 yards and 10 touchdowns as a running back. These amazing records earned him the attention of recruiters, and several colleges also had their eyes on him.
Te’o became one of the most celebrated and sought-after players during his senior season. He received many awards and was on the lists of both national and state recruiters. During this season he also helped lead his school team to their first state championship. Among his many awards is the Butkus Award, a distinction for being the best preparatory linebacker in the country.
He was also named “Sporting News High School Athlete of the Year 2008” and is proud to be the first Hawaiian athlete and the first Polynesian-born athlete to receive this award. Manti Te’o was also named National Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today, as well as All-American First Player, and was the third high school player from the state of Hawaii to join the All-American team of USA Today. The first two players to receive this award were Pat Kesi and Jason Ching.
After a huge high school career that earned him the Honolulu Advertiser’s Hawaii State Defensive Player of the Decade and the Parade All-American Team, Manti Te’o attended the University of Notre Dame where he played for the college football team from 2009 to 2012. As a rookie, he participated in twelve games that ended with sixty-three tackles, including 5.5 tackles for defeat and one sack. He set the record as the third rookie in the history of the school to set such a record.
At the end of the season, College Football News named Manti Te’o the All-American freshman, while Rivals.com named him the second All-American freshman.
In his second season, he was transferred from outfield to central defense after Notre Dame moved to the 3-4 defensive formation under a new defensive coordinator. It was not long before Manti Te’os name was on the watch list for both the Lombardi Award and the Nagurski Award. In the same year, the CNNSI also named him Second All-American Team.
In both the junior and senior seasons, the awards kept coming, instead of reducing them, they tripled. By the end of his four-year college career in Notre Dame, he had started a total of forty-seven consecutive games and scored a total of 437 tackles, making him the third player in the school’s history to score such a number of tackles after Bob Crable and Bob Golic.
During the 2013 NFL Draft, he was voted 38th overall by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the draft and was named second inside linebacker in the draft after Alec Ogletree. His rookie year was not bad at all, as he ended the season with sixty-one tackles and four passes at the beginning of thirteen games.
He missed four games in 2015 due to an ankle injury, but still ended the season with sixty-three tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble. The following season, Manti was named one of the team’s captains. Later that season he was put on reserve due to a ruptured Achilles.
In 2017 he signed a 2-year contract with the New Orleans Saints.
Is Manti Te’o Married? Wife, Girlfriend
Manti Te’o is not married but was involved in a girlfriend scam where he made everyone believe he had a girlfriend, even the media was fooled by the story until two reporters from the sports blog Deadspin conducted an investigation that proved the NFL player did not have a girlfriend.
Te’o had told the media in 2012 that both his grandmother and his girlfriend had died on the same day – September 11, 2012. According to him, Lennay Kekua (alleged girlfriend), who is a student at Stanford University and also struggled with leukemia, had died in a car accident and he had to keep playing and not miss any of his games in Notre Dame because he had promised her that he would not stop playing even if something happened to her.
And this story sounds perfect, doesn’t it? of course, it did, and everyone who heard it believed it, until Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey from Deadspin, while searching for Kekua’s identity, discovered that the story was completely wrong, since Manti Te’o’s supposed girlfriend never existed. After the hoax, the player was then linked to a model named Jovi Nicole Engbino in 2016.
His Height, Weight, and Body Measurements
The Linebacker stands at a height of 6″1 in (1.85 m) and weighs 109 kg (241 lb). His arm length is 32 1/2″ and his hand size is 9 1/2″.