(NEW YORK) — At one point, former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o looked like he would be a top-five pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. Now, he’s hoping his involvement in the fake girlfriend hoax won’t effect his draft stock.
With the NFL Combine beginning tomorrow in Indianapolis, much of the focus will be on Te’o as he tries to prove to scouts he belongs among the best prospects in the draft.
“What I did on the field is what I did on the field,” Te’o told USA Today. “I don’t think what I did with this whole situation, I don’t understand how it takes away from what I did on the field.”
“As far as my stock rising or dropping, that’s not up to me. The only thing I have to do is just do well, run fast, just be myself, be quick,” Te’o added.
Te’o was seen as one of the best prospects in the draft before it was revealed he was allegedly the victim of an elaborate hoax where a man pretended to be a woman online and eventually became the quaterback’s girlfriend. While there was speculation that Te’o was one of the people behind the hoax, he declares he had no part in it and is a victim.
The first round of the NFL Draft is on April 25.
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Jill Martin, CNN