It is almost hard to believe that it has been almost eight and a half months since Manti Te'o last took the field at Notre Dame for his senior day. And its been nearly four months since Teo was taken by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the NFL draft. Now the former defensive captain is a rookie in the NFL partaking in his first training camp.
Teo says he can already notice the changes. "I think I have grown a lot. Obviously you know just being a rookie, having to learn a new scheme and learning the different verbage and where I have to be. I've definitely grown a lot."
Growth that has definitely come from his hard work on and off the field. It is no secret that this off season has brought on its fair share of distractions for Manti, but all of that seems to be fading away now that he is back out on the gridiron.
"Once I hit the football field that is all I care about. I let the outside do what the outside does and I have to worry about what I got to do. And that is doing whatever I can do to help the Chargers family win."
Anybody who followed his career in South Bend knows that he is an incredibly hard worker who lets his actions speak for themselves. Ignoring all of the noise that comes with playing professional football isn't hard for Te'o. He says he just tries to focus on himself. "I'm just keeping my head down and working hard."
While his new teammates may give him a hard time every now and then, like kicking him out of his own press conference because they have somewhere else to be, they do notice the work he is doing.
After sending Te'o to the locker-room to "watch film or something" seven year NFL veteran free safety, Eric Weddle, had nothing but compliments to say about Manti. "He doesn't seem like the average rookie. He is eager to learn, extremely talented. His instincts are off the charts that's why we brought him in."
Te'o and the Chargers kick off their season September 9th against the Houston Chargers on Monday Night Football