Skip to primary navigation Skip to main content

Manti Te'o 'could do something special' if asked to teach players

By Tim Graham

BEREA, Ohio -- Manti Te'o has spent the past few days sitting through seminars and listening to roundtables at the NFL Rookie Symposium.

With everything the San Diego Chargers linebacker has endured, he probably could stroll on stage and easily conduct a presentation of his own.

"I think everybody at this point could give a good seminar on media," Te'o said this morning at a Play 60 event on the Cleveland Browns' practice fields. "For me, I definitely could do something special."

His message: "Just be yourself. Treat people right, and they'll treat you right, too."

I asked Te'o if he'd want to return to next year's symposium as a speaker.

"Anything I can do to give back," Te'o replied. "Hopefully, I came back from the standpoint of a successful rookie season and then I can tell the next class what to do and what not to do."

Te'o became a mainstream media sensation while still at Notre Dame. reported Jan. 16 the dead girlfriend who supposedly motivated was fictional.

Speculation swirled about whether Te'o was involved with the rouse or just embarrassingly oblivious for carrying on a lengthy online relationship with a woman he never met in person.

Ronaiah Tuiasosopo confessed to the hoax because he had fallen in love with Te'o. Tuiasosopo claimed Te'o knew nothing about the deception.

The scandal damaged Te'o's reputation forever.

"Always be aware that there are people out there to help you and people out there that might not necessarily want to help you," Te'o said.

Te'o entered the draft more media-worn than any other prospect, but he insisted he's still learning at the NFL Rookie Symposium.

"Keep your circle small," Te'o said of what he has taken away from the orientation. "As we all get into our next phase in our life, it's something we're not really used to.

"Remember the people who have always been there for you, and the most important thing to keep is your focus."

Te'o seemed particularly impacted by the presentation NBA player and drug addict Chris Herren delivered Monday.

"Oh, my gosh," Te'o said. "That was inspirational.

"It was real. It was him that lived it. It wasn't somebody telling somebody else's story. It's his story. For him to say it that way and to be vulnerable like that and to have the strength to go out there and tell people his darkest moments takes a lot of courage.

"For us to be in that moment with him was a special time."


Manti Te'o
comments powered by Disqus

About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |