Let’s forget about everything that happened after the last game of the season at USC. Notre Dame won and finished undefeated in the regular season, heading to the National Championship, with Te’o as their Heisman candidate. On top of that Manti Te’o was second on Mel Kiper’s Big Board and was going to be a top 10 draft pick. Everything was good, and then a butt kicking by Alabama, Manti’s poor performance, and the hoax on top of everything caused a media shellacking of Notre Dame and Te’o. I am still trying to figure out what exactly happened and why Notre Dame and Manti weren’t mentally prepared for the National Championship. That dropped Te’o down on the Big Board and is now sitting at 14th, with many NFL teams worried about his character.
Tomorrow Linebackers will report to Indianapolis for the NFL combine and this will start the medical examinations, x-rays, 15 minute interviews with all 32 teams, psychological testing, bench press, and on-field workouts. This is where Manti can revive his draft stock to being top 10 pick prospect again. The interviews are going to be huge for the All-American that has had a terrible start to 2013 and is looking for something positive. He has to prove he has great character that people are now questioning, that he can be a leader on and off the field, and lastly perform well in the NFL. During the week many people have been making a big deal about the 40 time Manti will run. If it is a good time then he will improve his stock if not then he will stay the same or continue to fall almost into the second round. Everyone has noticed the fact that Te’o lost weight, improved his pass coverage, and filled gaps much quicker than his previous years. This is where his future starts. The NFL combine is where he starts to revive his image to the public and the game of football.