Manti Te’o is an NFL linebacker who currently plays for the New Orleans Saints. He ended his college football career at Notre Dame, bagging eight national awards and a consensus All-American. The Hawaiian-Samoan descent began his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers in 2013 after being drafted as the 38th overall in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Below are the details about his life and career.
Manti’s full name is Manti Malietau Louis Teʻo and he was born in Laie, Hawaii, on the 26th of January 1991 to parents – Ottilia and Brian Te’o. He is of Samoan ancestry and has five siblings – four sisters (Eden, BrieAnne, Maya, and Tiare) and a brother named Manasseh.
He started playing football from his days at Punahou School, Manoa, Honolulu. As a junior, he won both the Honolulu Advertiser’s state defensive player of the year award and the Gatorade state player of the year awards. By the end of his junior season, he was recording ninety tackles and 5 sacks on defense and 400 yards and 10 touchdowns as a running back, these amazing records earned him attention from recruiters and several colleges also had their eyes on him.
Te’o would become one of the most celebrated and sought out players during his senior season. He received a lot of accolades and was on the lists of both national and state recruits. During this season also, he helped lead his school team to her first-ever state championship. His many awards include the Butkus Award, award as the best prep linebacker in the country.
He was also named the Sporting News High School Athlete of the Year for 2008, priding himself as the first athlete from the state of Hawaii as well as first athlete of Polynesian descent to receive the award. Manti Te’o was also named the national Defensive Player of the Year as well as a first-team All-American by USA Today and became the 3rd high school player from the state of Hawaii to be named in the USA Today All-American team. The first two players to earn that were Pat Kesi and Jason Ching.
After a huge high school career, which earned him the Honolulu Advertiser’s Hawaii State Defensive Player of the Decade, Parade All-American team and many others, Manti Te’o attended the University of Notre Dame, where he played for the college football team from 2009 to 2012. As a freshman, he appeared in twelve games which ended with sixty-three tackles, which included 5.5 tackles for loss and one sack. He made the record as the third freshman in the history of the school to make such record.
At the end of the season, College Football News named Manti Te’o a Freshman All-American, while Rivals.com named him a second-team Freshman All-American.
During his sophomore season, he was moved from the outside to inside linebacker after Notre Dame switched to the 3–4 defensive formation under a new defensive coordinator, it wasn’t long before Manti Te’o’s name was on both the Lombardi Award & Nagurski Award watch lists. That same year, the CNNSI also named him a Second Team All-American.
The awards didn’t stop coming both in his junior and senior seasons, rather than reduce, it tripled. At the end of his four years college career at Notre Dame, he started a total of forty-seven consecutive games and recorded a total of 437 tackles making it on the list as the 3rd player in the history of the school after Bob Crable and Bob Golic to make such number of tackles.
During the 2013 NFL Draft, he was selected by San Diego Chargers as the 38th overall in the second round of the draft and he became the second inside linebacker to be drafted after Alec Ogletree. His rookie year wasn’t bad at all as he ended the season starting thirteen games, with sixty-one tackles and four passes.
He missed four games in 2015 due to an ankle injury but still finished the season with sixty-three tackles, one interception, and 1 forced fumble. The following season, Manti was named one of the team’s captains for the season. Later that season he was placed on reserve due to a torn 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 has been involved in a girlfriend hoax in which he made everyone believe he had a girlfriend even the media was fooled by that tale until two reporters from sports blog Deadspin carried out an investigation which proved the NFL player had no 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 (supposed girlfriend) who is a student of Stanford University and was also battling with leukemia had died in a car accident and he had to continue playing and not miss any of his games at Notre Dame, because he had made a promise to her that he wouldn’t stop playing even if anything happens to her.
And that story sounds perfect, right? of course, it did, and every person who heard it believed it until Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey from Deadspin in a quest to uncover the identity of Kekua discovered that the story was all false as Manti Te’o supposed girlfriend never existed. After the hoax, the player was then linked with 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 109kg (241 lb). His arm length is 32 1/2″ and his hand size is 9 1/2″.