SharkHawk wrote:Te'o isn't known for his brilliance. I could tell you the story about his official visit to BYU (and a few others), but I won't since it's been a few years and I'll assume he's grown up some. His family isn't full of bright bulbs either. I can only imagine what would have happened had he kept his commitment to BYU and been lined up opposite of Kyle Van Noy. The plan was to have them play together for 4 years. Van Noy got arrested and redshirted a year. Te'o just did some terribly stupid things and then backed out on or had his offer rescinded (depending on who you ask). It wasn't a high point for college visits though. Hopefully he's turned the corner and makes better decisions. I'm not judging the guy. I love him and stick with him and hope he does really well every week (except when he played byu), but if he hasn't grown up a TON then he's going to have a really difficult adjustment to the NFL.
In my view Van Noy is every bit the player Te'o is. If he had gone to BYU you wouldn't be hearing Heisman talk on Manti, but if Kyle had gone to a PAC 10 (12) school or Notre Dame I think you'd be hearing the same talk about him that you're hearing about Manti now.
Can you shed more light on the issues for those of us interested in learning more about Te'o?
Nah, I shouldn't say too much. I can link you to some people's "reports" on what all took place. It wasn't good for Manti and he didn't show a lot of maturity. It isn't anything that would ruin a kid's draft status I don't think. He and his cousins are just universally known for doing stupid crap (he has a cousin that committed to BYU the same weekend he did that is the BIGGEST moron on the face of the earth... seriously... he has already been kicked out of two schools and lost two full ride scholarships). I think that is one of the main reasons he wanted to go to Notre Dame... to get away from a lot of the influences around him. Hawaii is an interesting place. The culture is interesting. Samoa and Tonga and Fiji as well. They play an important part in the history of my religion. His name (Manti) actually comes from the Book of Mormon, as do many of the polynesian names. The culture is ancient and strong and amazing. Don't get me wrong here in how this comes out. But there are also problems when the culture and the way things have been done for thousands of years conflict with modern day norms, values, mores, whatever you want to call them. Sometimes the island kids get together here at BYU and the U of Utah and things just get bad fast.
The majority of my friends and family are either black or polynesian, but I can see the reality of what goes on. There are events I've been to (like weddings) where full on gang-wars were ready to erupt. We've got a massive Island population here, and guys get together and do really really dumb stuff.
This wasn't Manti, but several years ago a cousin signed a letter of intent and was set to enroll in school the next day. He and his friends went for a drive. One remembered he hated this guy whose house they were near (right by my home). So thy saw him on the porch and shot and killed him. 5 young men went to prison. The kid who was riding in the car got 5 years and of course lost his scholly for "aiding and abetting" and "evading". He saw it happen and just ran for it. It scared the heck out of him. On their own, none of those boys would have killed that man. Together, it was like a natural thing to drive up and blow his head off. So messed up. The young man served 3 years and went on to play JC football and got an associates degree and has done ok in life.
Manti is one of those kids that was impressionable in high school. I think now it's more that he MAKES the impression and it's good. I think he got here and wanted to impress his cousins and did some flat out stupid crap that I think he probably really regrets now. If you were a GM though, you wouldn't think twice about it. The fact that it was BYU and he was the #1 Mormon athlete at the time put him under a huge microscope. Just like what Jabari Parker is going through right now. He's being called the next Jordan, the next Kobe, the next LeBron, etc. and he's trying to stay true to his faith and talk about his goals in life and what he wants to do, and gets a TON of pressure on him. That's what happened to Manti. He didn't handle it as well as I would have hoped, but I'm sure he would now. If I had a chance to draft him, I would. Sometimes being the "spokesperson" for a group is hard. Stanley Havili went through the same thing and so did Haloti Ngata. Both backed out on their BYU scholarships at the last moment and went to USC and U of O respectively, because they felt it would be less pressure on them from the religious standpoint, and that they'd get more chance at an NFL career (which is hooey.... good players get a chance no matter where they go... Ngata would have been a first rounder had he gone to BYU as well... going to BYU didn't hurt Dennis Pitta's draft standing).
Anyway, I probably shouldn't have said anything at all. I just felt like piping up because I like Manti, I support him, I love his family, but a few of those family members are knuckleheads and always want to be around causing crap and I hope he stays strong and continues to stay away from it as he's done so well while in college.