Saturday, February 23, 2013
Williamson: Te'o faces media at combine
By ESPN.com staff
INDIANAPOLIS -- Manti Te'o suddenly went from being one of the most celebrated college players in the country to the most scrutinized.
On Saturday, he continued to face the music regarding the bizarre saga involving a girlfriend that never existed.
In perhaps the most anticipated player news conference in NFL scouting combine history, the highly decorated Notre Dame middle linebacker answered questions from a massive media horde Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Media filled the interview area in anticipation of Te'o's session when word spread that his session would start within the hour. Several minutes later, word came out that it would be delayed for more than a couple of hours. When Te'o finally met the media Saturday, it was in front of an overflow crowd.
"It's pretty crazy," Te'o said in one of the lighter moments of his session. "I've been in front of a few cameras, but not as many as this."
Instead of talking about being a potential top-5 pick, Te'o spent his media session discussing his role in a hoax that first broke in January.
Te'o appeared at times calm and emotional, politely and patiently answering every question, nearly all of them centered on the hoax. Te'o ended his media session by thanking Notre Dame, his family and everyone who helped him cope in the past several weeks. He said he wants to focus on football from this point forward.
When Te'o took the podium he quickly said he has spoken of everything he planned to about the situation. He then talked freely about the issues.
"It's definitely embarrassing," Te'o said. "When you walk into the grocery store and you get people giving double takes and they're sitting there staring at you, it's definitely embarrassing. I guess it's part of the process, part of the journey. It's only going to make me stronger and it definitely has."