Manti Malietau Louis Te'o (/ˈmæn.taɪ ˈteɪ.oʊ/; born January 26, 1991) is an American football linebacker for the San Diego Chargers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Notre Dame, was recognized as a consensus All-American, received eight national awards and became one of the most decorated college football players of all time. He was drafted as the sixth pick of the second round by the Chargers in the 2013 NFL Draft.
One of the enduring stories of Notre Dame's 2012 season was Te'o's strong play following the death of his grandmother and girlfriend, as well as his emergence as a Heisman Trophy candidate. In January 2013, the sports blog Deadspin revealed that the existence and death of his girlfriend had been faked. An acquaintance of Te'o confessed to orchestrating a hoax that lured Te'o into an online relationship with a nonexistent woman.
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... In early 2013, Te'o told many media outlets that both his grandmother and his girlfriend had died on September 11, 2012 ... Te'o said that his girlfriend, Stanford University student Lennay Kekua, had died after a car accident and subsequently battling leukemia ... Te'o did not miss any football games for Notre Dame, saying that he had promised Kekua that he would play even if something had happened to her ...