Notre Dame Freshman Linebacker Manti Te'o Speaks Softly, Hits Fiercely-Since the Punahou graduate has become a starter, he leads team in tackled

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On a biting, drizzly Midwest afternoon, Manti Te’o practiced without a long-sleeve shirt under his football pads. Reading blocking schemes and weather forecasts has become a dual priority for a Hawaii native who is decidedly anti-freeze, so this was a curious sight Tuesday.

As Notre Dame prepared to face Washington State, that’s all it was: curious. Still, you half-expected to hear how the freshman linebacker grew polar fleece on his arms, or used his intensity to self-insulate. Hyper-hyperbole regarding Te’o is epidemic, primarily because he’s measuring up to some tall tales.


“He’s out there trying to kill everyone he hits,” Irish linebacker Brian Smith said. “It’s a joy to be out there next to him.”

Case in point: Where others merely tackle, Manti Te’o gleefully commits felonious assault.

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