Manti Te'o has endured his share of lows since the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. But a disappointing ending shouldn't overshadow a brilliant body of work. And Te'o's collegiate highlights affirm his first-round projection in the 2013 NFL draft.
Notre Dame's shooting star was sitting atop the athletic world last New Year's Eve. However, his newfound stardom took the form of a screaming meteor before the last piece of confetti fell.
Te'o's Jan. 7 performance versus the Alabama Crimson Tide made for a forgettable finale. One week later, the now-notorious girlfriend hoax clenched the media spotlight and questioned his mental makeup. The following month, his uninspiring 4.82 40 time (per CBSSports.com) flung another bandolier to his critics.
In less than four months, Te'o regressed from Heisman hopeful to eccentric enigma.
But on the field, one thing is crystal clear: Te'o's vigorous leadership spawns a ruthless linebacker with a take-no-prisoners mentality.