Not On Manti Te’o Bandwagon Yet


Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti TeBolt Family, as you already know, Donald Butler recently reacted publicly to the Manti Te’o selection by Tom Telesco in this year´s NFL draft.

According to U-T San Diego, Butler doesn´t share the public enthusiasm about the Chargers´ second round pick at this point. He doesn´t know to much about the young linebacker as he hasn´t met him yet and didn´t follow his games in college.

“I think a lot of people are jumping to conclusions,” Butler said this week. “He has to come in and prove himself as a starter. Obviously, it would be nice — that’s why you draft someone in the second round. We don’t know how he’s going to be in the NFL. I hope he comes in and he’s a superstar. Hopefully we can create something that will carry us for the next four, five, six years.

“I’m looking forward to him coming in and being excited to work. From what I’ve heard, that is what he likes to do: humble guy who wants to come in and just work and really hone his craft.”

I think that´s an accurate way to look at this situation.

Sure, Te’o had a great college career. He led Notre Dame in tackles the past three seasons and is one of the most decorated college football players in history. He won seven national awards and was second in the Heisman Trophy race last year. Te’o is only the third defensive player to receive the Walter Camp Award and he became the first defensive player to win the Maxwell Award since 1980, ending a string of nine straight quarterbacks. But we all know in what kind of bizarre, weird and also very embarrassing story he was involved with; and in January this year, this story became public. It surely was a tough time for him and now he will have to face again some comments and questions by the media about this drama and of course also by his teammates.

“I’m sure he’ll get some jabs,” Butler said. “But that comes with being a rookie. He might get a little more because of his situation, but I’m sure he’s man enough to handle it and really grow from it. I don’t think it’s going to be anything over-the-top. It’ll be your normal rookie jokes.”

General Manager Tom Telesco and the Chargers weren´t bothered too much by the scrutiny Te’o has been under, when they pulled the trigger in on the top linebacker prospect out of the University of Notre Dame.

“Obviously not. We took him,” Telesco said. “We did our due diligence. All that stuff is not a concern to us. So we’re just really, really excited to get him here. He took that Notre Dame program and kind of raised the talent level of the whole program. He was the undisputed leader there. We saw that.

“As a player, as a playmaker, he’s instinctive. We can’t wait to get him on the field.”

I hope Telesco is right, because he moved up seven spots in the second round to grab the college star linebacker at No. 38. The Bolts received the 38th overall pick from the Arizona Cardinals, in exchange for their second- (No. 45) and fourth-round (No. 110) picks.
I have to admit, the loss of that fourth round selection still hurts a bit, as we would´ve been able to use this 110th overall pick to bring in a solid starting caliber at nose tackle or outside linebacker.

But whatever, I´m fine with Manti Te´o but I also have to agree with Donald Butler: Get him in and let him prove himself first. He has to earn his respect in the NFL.

But I´m pretty confident that we´re going to experience a tough beast tandem behind the defensive line in the next few years.

Bolt Family, feel free to share your thoughts about Manti Te´o in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading!