Basically everyone has made up their mind on former Notre Dame star Manti Te’o. You either think he’s full of bologna and a despicable person, or you see him as a simple man who fell victim to a terrible hoax and was too nervous to reveal the truth. I have no doubt that some NFL scouts have also at least come close to making up their mind on him, but he has one more chance to help his cause at the NFL Combine.
No one player in the history of the Combine will have his interviews dissected way more than his workout numbers, so it will be interesting to see how he handles it. But if he wants to still be a high draft pick, he’s going to have to knock his interviews out of the park with the scouts. If he leaves the room and the scouts still have questions in their heads, they are certain to look elsewhere for help on their team’s rosters.
He has to be absolutely concise with his answers, not leaving any loose ends. He should have a mindset that he’s in a courtroom instead of a back room in Lucas Oil Stadium. People are going to want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He will also have to play up his faith to almost Tim Tebow-esque levels to help rebuild some of the good graces he lost with the fake girlfriend hoax. It may be a cheap pop with the crowd of scouts, but whatever helps at this point is worth doing.
As long as his numbers are about what were expected, that will be overlooked. He just needs to look the scouts in the eye and tell them the whole story. It’s going to get old after awhile when he has to repeat himself a dozen times, but it will be worth it for him in the long haul, because this will be the most important day of his football career, even bigger than the National Championship.
Korey Beckett is a writer for RantSports.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.