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Manti Te’o wants to be judged on football, not hoax

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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Manti Te'o is ready to prove at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine this week that his high-profile catfishing won't affect his draft stock.

"I have to just go out there and perform and all that other stuff is behind me," he told USA Today on Monday. "What I did on the field is what I did on the field. I don't think what I did with this whole situation, I don't understand how it takes away from what I did on the field.

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"As far as my stock dropping or rising, that's not up to me. The only thing I have to do is just do well, run fast, just be myself, be quick."

Te'o is correct: Most NFL analysts believe that Te'o getting steamrolled by Alabama in the BCS Championship Game was more disconcerting than the scandal.

NFL Network's draft analyst Mike Mayock said Monday that based on talent, Te'o should be drafted around No. 20 overall, and that he expects that's where Te'o will come off the board -- intimating teams won't be deterred by the off-field hullabaloo.

Te'o will have his chance this week in meetings to convince teams he's learned from the situation and has moved forward. More importantly, he'll also get a chance to finally get back on the field.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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