Manti Te’o          ILB       Notre Dame    Before the fake girlfriend issues and the speed issues that cropped up at the combine (which greatly improved at the Notre Dame Pro Day a few weeks ago) Te’o was considered a very good football player – and he still is. When I evaluated the combine positional drill work, I saw the same movement skills and short-area burst and acceleration that I did on tape. While the national championship game is a blemish on the radar screen, his DNA (film) and overall production speaks for itself. Good athlete with size and short-area quickness. Very good FBI (football instincts), read reaction quickness and awareness in space of screens and route recognition. Good eyes to key and diagnose, with a nose for the ball within the box; can sift through traffic and play downhill with TFL (tackle for loss) production. Reads offensive line scheme well (pulling guards). Good at POA (point of attack) to stuff OGs or lead blockers, and can play downhill effectively. Does allow pad level to rise and was frequently walled off; slow to shed. Will need better UOH (use of hands) technique to shed and disengage faster. Good lateral chase and pursuit. Is a natural space player, fluid in drops, with great awareness of both ball and receiver; body balance and control results in interception production. A collision, chase down lateral tackler with good wrap-up in tight and open space. He is always around the ball and possesses soft hands with diving effort. This is the same player whom millions of people were championing for the Heisman. Talented enough to play either weak or strong OLB spots at the next level. Softli – First-round talent, first-round pick.

 

MANTI MALIETAU LOUIS TE’O

Middle Linebacker

Notre Dame University Fighting Irish

#5

6:01.2-241

Laie, Hawaii

Punahou High School

 

OVERVIEW

One of the most popular players in school history, Te’o wisely returned to school for his senior season after first considering leaving the university after his junior season. He would go on to earn unanimous All-American honors and be a finalist for the coveted Heisman Trophy, a major accomplishment in an era where offensive players dominated the voting for that trophy since its inception.

 

Te’o added to his trophy case when he was named National Player of the Year by the Walter Camp Foundation. He also received the Maxwell Award, Lombardi Trophy, Bednarik Award, Nagurski Award, Lott Trophy and the best honor you can bestow on a college linebacker – the Butkus Award. Also the recipient of the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award, he guided the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season and within one victory of capturing the national championship that has eluded Notre Dame since Lou Holtz’s 1988 team brought home that trophy.

 

Finishing second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, Te’o accomplished that feat after recording 113 tackles. He also ranked tied for third nationally with seven interceptions in 2012, as that total is the most ever for an Irish linebacker in a season. He started 49-of-51 games at middle linebacker for Notre Dame, as his 34.0 stops-for-loss rank 11th in school history and his 427 total tackles are surpassed by only Bob Crable (521; 1978-81) and Bob Golic (479; 1975-78) on the school’s all-time record chart.

 

When Te’o agreed to sign with Notre Dame, it was considered the biggest recruiting coup of the 2009 class. The linebacker was a consensus top ten national recruit, named The Sporting News’ High School Athlete of the Year and selected USA Today’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. Because the recruit did not take a two-year service Mormon mission after high school, it meant he got a chance to use his ability as a true freshman, playing in every game for the Irish and earning the starting nod for ten contests.

 

When he first arrived on campus, Te’o was regarded as the program’s savior. Since leading the Irish to a 10-3 record in 2006, head coach Charlie Weis, who would be in his final season at the helm for Notre Dame in 2009, had seen the once formidable team slide to consecutive records of 3-9 in 2007; 7-6 in 2008 and then eke out a 6-6 mark during Te’os first season at the school in 2009.

 

The freshman recorded 63 tackles with 5.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, but it was obvious that a coaching house cleaning was in order. The team had finished 89th in the nation in run defense (170.25 ypg), 86th in total defense (397.75 ypg) and 63rd in scoring defense (25.92 ppg) in Weis’ “swan song” season.

 

With the arrival of Brian Kelly, the fans at the Catholic university were reminded that not even Rome was built in a day. But, with the foundation of the defense wresting on the shoulders of their middle linebacker, Kelly began to recruit players that fit the mold of Te’o – those that were blue chip products with that blue collar work ethic. The coaches felt that in order for the defense to regain its prominence, the middle linebacker needed to play the way he has only know how to perform – with a “take no prisoners” approach.

 

The Irish would turn losses into victories over the next three years, as they slowly built the stout defense Kelly envisioned when he took over the program in 2010. Gone were the “pretty boy” types, those with clean uniforms on the sidelines. Kelly wanted those that looked like they slept in a pig pen and Te’o was that “Boss Hog” to lead his crew.

 

The 2010 season produced an 8-5 record, not national title worthy, but an improvement just the same. Te’o, now firmly entrenched as the starting middle linebacker, led the team in total tackles (133), tackles made on running plays (95), tackles made vs. the pass (tied at 35), solo tackles (66) and assisted tackles (67). Simply put, he was a tackling machine, as 9.5 of his stops came behind the line of scrimmage. The defense finished 50th nationally vs. the run (142.15 ypg), 50th in total defense (357.23) and in a “bend but don’t break” mode, held opponents to 20.23 points per game, 23rd best in the FBS.

 

As a junior, Te’o garnered All-American recognition. He also received Academic All-American accolades and was a finalist for both the Butkus Award and Lott Trophy. He finished 24th in the nation with an average of 9.85 tackles per game on the way to becoming just the tenth Irish player to total over 300 tackles in a career. He again paced the squad with 128 stops that included five sacks and 13.5 hits behind the line of scrimmage. The Irish matched their 2010 record at 8-5, but the team improved to 30th in the nation in total defense (344.69 ypg) and yielded just 20.69 points per game.

 

With every national defensive award coming his way in 2012, Te’o, known for his tackling ability vs. the run, posted 113 hits, but he would also display outstanding field awareness. His seven interceptions not only set a school season-record for linebacker, but that total was the most by any major college linebacker since Dan Dawson of Rice had seven pass thefts for the Owls during the 2000 campaign.

 

The Irish finished the 2012 season with a 12-1 record. Since they first began playing football in 1887, Notre Dame has had just two teams win twelve games in a season, as the 1988 squad went undefeated at 12-0 and the 1989 unit followed with a 12-1 mark. With their team captain leading the way, the Irish closed out Te’o’s final campaign ranked 11th in the nation vs. the run (105.69 ypg), second in scoring defense (12.77 ppg) and seventh in total defense (305.46 ypg).

 

CAREER NOTES

Te’o played in 51 games for Notre Dame, starting 49 games, including 48 consecutive starts, the longest streak for any active linebacker in college football…Ranks third in school history with 437 tackles, topped by Bob Crable (521; 1978-81) and Bob Golic (479; 1975-78)…That total also ranks second among active NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision players, surpassed by Travis Freeman of Ball State (465)…His 437 tackles also tied Daniel Holtzcklaw of Eastern Michigan (2005-08) on the NCAA FBS career-record chart…His 212 solo tackles rank seventh and his 225 assists rank third among active players (Freeman has 290 assisted hits and Dan Molls of Toledo has 249)…Caused and recovered a pair of fumbles…Intercepted seven passes for 35 yards in returns and deflected ten other throws…Also registered twelve quarterback pressures…Posted 8.5 sacks for minus 55 yards and his 34.0 stops for losses totaling 114 yards placed 11th on the school all-time record list.

 

2012 SEASON

Te’o finished second in the voting for the Heisman Trophy, as he was the recipient of the  Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Maxwell Award, Lombardi Trophy, Bednarik Award, Nagurski Award, Butkus Award and Lott Trophy…Earned first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, Sporting News, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp, ESPN.com, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, Athlon Sports and Pro Football Weekl…Added Capital One Academic All-American first-team accolades and was named a National Scholar-Athlete by the National Football Foundation, in addition to receiving Academic All-District recognition…Selected the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP and earned Lott IMPACT Player of the Week  and College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Linebacker for his performance vs. Oklahoma…Was also named FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week, College Football Performance Awards Honor-able Mention Linebacker  and Lott IMPACT Player of the Week vs. Brigham Young; Lott IMPACT Player of the Week vs. Stanford; FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week, Bednarik Player Of The Week, Lott IMPACT Player of the Week and  FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week vs. Michigan; Lott IMPACT Player of the Week, FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week, Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Line-backer vs. Michigan State; and FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week vs. Navy…

Played a role in 10 of the 21 turnovers forced by Notre Dame’s defense (six interception, two fumble recoveries and hurried two passers on plays directly resulting in interceptions)

As the middle linebacker led the team for the third consecutive season with 113 tackles (55 solos) that included 1.5 sacks for minus 13 yards, 5.5 stops for losses of 19 yards and four QB pressures…Deflected four passes and tied for third in the nation as he set the school season-record for linebackers with seven interceptions for 35 yards in returns…That was the most pass thefts by a college linebacker in a season since Dan Dawson of Rice also had seven picks during the 2000 campaign…Only one player recorded more takeaways this season than Te’o who has generated nine turnovers (seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries)…Started off the season with eight tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery vs. Navy…Once stateside, he logged 10 tackles vs. Purdue and vs. Michigan State, he recorded 12 tackles (seven solo) and recovered a fumble…Had career game vs. Michigan, notching eight tackles and intercepting a career-high two passes, returning one for 28 yards in a 13-6 win over the rival Wolverines…Added 10 tackles vs. Miami, with eight of the 10 being solo stops…In the Stanford clash, he posted 11 tackles and was a crucial component in the overtime goal-line stand…Continued to impress vs. BYU and Oklahoma, as he delivered six solo tackles in each game and returned an interception for seven yards vs. the Cougars, ending up with 10 total tackles vs. BYU and eleven vs. the Sooners, as he added a sack and an interception that helped seal the victory…Delivered seven tackles and a half sack vs. Pittsburgh, including five tackles and a half sack in the fourth quarter and overtime…Tallied five tackles and an interception vs. Boston College and logged six more tackles in the Senior Day game vs. Wake Forest…Went on the road to end the regular season at USC and was credited with five tackles, three of which were solo, and an interception to help secure Notre Dame’s trip to the BCS Championship game.

 

2011 SEASON

Te’o was selected second-team All-American by The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, Sports Illustrated, Rivals.com and Phil Steele…Chosen to the Capital One Academic All-American second-team and was the recipient of Notre Dame’s Rockne Student-Athlete of the Year…Named a finalist for some of college foot-ball’s most prestigious awards, including the Lott and Butkus Awards after being named to numerous preseason awards lists and All-American scrolls…Semifinalist for the Butkus, Bednarik and Lombardi Awards and was a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy all at the same time, making him one of only three players in the country to be on all four lists…The junior started all thirteen games, leading the team with 128 tackles (52 solos) that included a career-high five sacks for minus 23 yards and 13.5 stops for losses of 36 yards…Added four quarterback pressures, two pass deflections and a forced fumble…Led the team in tackles nine times and had at least one tackle for loss in seven games…Became only 10th Irish player to register 300 tackles for career at Stanford…Recorded 14 tackles and a sack vs. South Florida and posted 12 tackles vs. Michigan State…Tallied 10 tackles and a sack at Pittsburgh…Produced eight tackles, including a sack and a career-high three tackles for loss, in victory at Purdue, as he was named FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week following game vs. the Boilermakers…Registered 12 tackles, including two and a half for loss, and a pass breakup in victory over Air Force…Had a productive game vs. Navy, tallying 13 tackles, including two and a half for loss, and one-half sack, as he was named College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Linebacker and FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week following the game vs. the Midshipman…Made 12 tackles, including one-half tackle for loss vs. Boston College to earn FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Week following game vs. the Eagles…Totaled 13 tackles and assisted on a sack in the Champs Sports Bowl vs. Florida State.

 

2010 SEASON

Te’o started all thirteen games, leading the team with a career-high 133 total tackles, tackles on running plays (95), tackles on passing plays (35, tied), solo tackles (66) and assisted tackles (67)…Added 9.5 tackles for loss (34 yards), one sack (seven yards), one forced fumble and two pass break-ups…Nearly became the first Notre Dame defender to eclipse 100 total tackles and lead the team in tackles for loss since Melvin Dansby in 1997 and nearly became the first Irish defender to lead the team in total tackles and tackles for loss since Brandon Hoyte in 2005.

 

2009 SEASON

Te’o appeared in twelve games as a true freshman, starting ten contests…Recorded 63 tackles (29 solos) with a 12-yard sack, 5.5 stops for losses of 25 yards and a pressure… Also deflected one pass…His 63 tackles are third most for any freshman in program history…Became full-time starter in fifth game of season vs. Washington and recorded 57 tackles over last eight games, second most on team.

 

INJURY REPORT

2010 Season…Left the Sun Bowl contest vs. Miami after he suffered sprained right knee. Te’o had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to remove cartilage after the 2010 season and he was held out of the majority of 2011 spring practices.

 

AGILITY TESTS

4.82 in the 40-yard dash…1.62 10-yard dash…2.69 20-yard dash…4.27 20-yard shuttle…

7.13 three-cone drill…33-inch vertical jump…9’5” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times…32 ½-inch arm length…9 ½-inch hands…76 5/8-inch wingspan.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

Te’o attended Punahou (Laie, Hi.) High School…Selected to play in 2009 Under Armour All-American game in Orlando and participated in Hawaii Prep Football Classic, which featured an all-star team from U.S. mainland vs. an all-star team from Hawaii…Named 2008 High School Athlete of the Year by Sporting News…Selected as Defensive Player of the Year by USA Today…Became the inaugural high school recipient of the Butkus Award, given to the best linebacker in the country…Two-time recipient of Hawaii Gatorade Player-of-the-Year award in 2007 and 2008…Sporting News rated him the top defensive player in the nation and second-best player in the country…Rated second-best overall prospect in the ESPNU150 and best linebacker according to ESPN…Was ranked sixth nationally by Scout.com and its top linebacker prospect…Rivals.com ranked him as 12th-best overall player nationally and second-best inside linebacker…Rated as the best player in Hawaii according to Rivals.com’s postseason state rankings…Listed seventh nationally in the Chicago Sun-Times rating of top 100 players…Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports rated him as 12th-best all around player in his Top 100…Named to Super Prep’s Elite 50 squad as 12th-best overall player and made the Super Prep All-American team as the second-best linebacker in the county…Also named Super Prep Farwest Defensive Player of the Year…Named 2007 Defensive Player of the Year and first-team all-state linebacker by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin…Received first-team all-state and conference defensive player of the year honors as a junior and senior by the Honolulu Advertiser…Registered 129 tackles, 11 sacks, three forced fumbles, three interceptions, one which he returned for a touch-down and a blocked punt that he scored a touchdown on during his senior campaign, as he helped Punahou High School capture its first ever state championship by racking up eight tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss, and a forced fumble in the title game en route to 38-7 victory…Recorded 90 tackles and five sacks as junior in 2007…Named an Eagle Scout in 2008 and volunteers his time at Hawaii Special Olympics and Head Start Preschool program…Graduated from President Barack Obama’s high school…Played for head coach Kale Ane.

 

PERSONAL

Te’o is enrolled in the College of Arts and Letters as a Graphic Design major…Boasts a cumulative grade-point average of 3.296…Son of Ottilia and Brian Te’o…Born Manti Malietau Louis Te’o on 1/26/91…Resides in Laie, Hawaii.

 

PLAYER STATISTICS

DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
STATS GP GS TK SO AS FR FC INT TFL PBU SACK PRES
2009 12 10 063 029 034  00  00  00  05.5-25   01  1.0-12    01
2010 13 13 133 066 067  00  01  00  09.5-34   03  1.0-07    03
2011 13 13 128 052 066  00  01  00  13.5-36   02  5.0-23    04
2011 13 13 113 055 058  02  00  07  05.5-19   04  1.5-13    04
TOTAL 51 49 437 212 225  02  02  07  34.0-114   10  8.5-55    12

 

INTERCEPTION RETURNS ADVANCED FUMBLE RECOVERIES
STATS NO YARDS AVG TD LONG NO YARDS AVG TD LONG
2012  07        35  5.00  00    28  01        08  8.00  00    08

 

TE’O GAME BY GAME LOG

2012 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Int. Ret.

Fum. Ret.

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

No

Yds

TD

No

Yds

TD

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Navy 09/01/12 Navy 50-10

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Purdue 09/08/12 Purdue 20-17

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Michigan St. 09/15/12 at MSU 20-3

Yes

0

0

0

1

8

0

5

7

0

1

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

Michigan 09/22/12 Michigan 13-6

Yes

2

28

0

0

0

0

5

3

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

Miami (FL) 10/06/12 Miami (FL) 41-3

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

2

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Stanford 10/13/12 Stanford 20-13

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

8

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

BYU 10/20/12 BYU 17-14

Yes

1

7

0

0

0

0

4

6

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Oklahoma 10/27/12 at Oklahoma 30-13

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

5

6

0

2

12

0

1

9

0

0

0

Pittsburgh 11/03/12 Pittsburgh 29-26

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

3

2

0

5

1

0

4

1

0

0

Boston College 11/10/12 at BC 21-6

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Wake Forest 11/17/12 Wake Forest 38-0

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USC 11/24/12 at USC 22-13

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

2

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Alabama 01/07/13 Alabama 14-42

Yes

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

7

35

0

1

8

0

58

55

3

4

19

1

1

13

4

0

4

 

 

2011 Season.

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

South Fla. 09/03/11 South Fla. 20-23

Yes

8

6

0

1

1

0

1

1

0

0

0

Michigan 09/10/11 at Michigan 31-35

Yes

0

5

0

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan St. 09/17/11 MSU 31-13

Yes

10

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pittsburgh 09/24/11 at Pittsburgh 15-12

Yes

2

8

0

1

5

0

1

5

0

0

1

Purdue 10/01/11 at Purdue 38-10

Yes

0

8

0

3

12

0

2

10

0

0

0

Air Force 10/08/11 Air Force 59-33

Yes

5

5

1

2

4

0

0

0

1

0

0

USC 10/22/11 USC 17-31

Yes

7

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 10/29/11 Navy 56-14

Yes

8

5

1

2

4

1

0

1

0

0

0

Wake Forest 11/05/11 at Wake Forest 24-17

Yes

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Maryland 11/12/11 Maryland 45-21

Yes

1

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Boston College 11/19/11 Boston College 16-14

Yes

9

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

3

Stanford 11/26/11 at Stanford 14-28

Yes

7

5

3

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Florida St. 12/29/11 Florida St. 14-18

Yes

6

7

1

0

6

1

0

6

1

1

0

Season Totals

66

62

7

10

36

2

4

23

2

1

4

 

2010 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Purdue 09/04/10 Purdue 23-12

Yes

3

6

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan 09/11/10 Michigan 24-28

Yes

7

6

0

1

3

0

0

0

1

1

0

Michigan St. 09/18/10 at Michigan St. 31-34

Yes

5

6

1

2

15

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 09/25/10 Stanford 14-37

Yes

13

8

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

Boston College 10/02/10 at Boston College 31-13

Yes

4

6

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pittsburgh 10/09/10 Pittsburgh 23-17

Yes

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Western Mich. 10/16/10 Western Mich. 44-20

Yes

6

4

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

2

Navy 10/23/10 Navy 17-35

Yes

5

8

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Tulsa 10/30/10 Tulsa 27-28

Yes

3

5

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Utah 11/13/10 Utah 28-3

Yes

6

3

1

1

9

0

1

7

0

0

0

Army 11/20/10 Army 27-3

Yes

4

8

2

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

USC 11/27/10 at USC 20-16

Yes

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Miami (FL) 12/31/10 Miami (FL) 33-17

Yes

5

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Season Totals

67

66

5

7

34

0

1

7

3

1

3

 

2009 Season

Date

Opponent

Score

Played

Tackles

Sacks

PBU

FC

Pres

Ast

Solo

Asst
Loss

Solo
Loss

Loss
Yds

Ast

Solo

Yards

Nevada 09/05/09 Nevada 35-0

Yes

0

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan 09/12/09 at Michigan 34-38

Yes

1

1

0

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

Michigan St. 09/19/09 Michigan St. 33-30

Yes

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Purdue 09/26/09 at Purdue 24-21

Yes

0

1

0

1

12

0

1

12

0

0

0

Washington 10/03/09 Washington 37-30

Yes

8

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

USC 10/17/09 USC 27-34

Yes

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Boston College 10/24/09 Boston College 20-16

Yes

7

2

1

2

10

0

0

0

1

0

1

Washington St. 10/31/09 Washington St. 40-14

Yes

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Navy 11/07/09 Navy 21-23

Yes

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Pittsburgh 11/14/09 at Pittsburgh 22-27

Yes

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Connecticut 11/21/09 Connecticut 30-33

Yes

1

7

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Stanford 11/28/09 at Stanford 38-45

Yes

5

5

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Season Totals

34

29

3

4

25

0

1

12

1

0

1

 

Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.