Manti Te’o visited with the Chargers eager to impress them.
He did just that.
“He’s one of the finest kids I’ve met,” General Manager Tom Telesco said of Te’o. “When you go through this process, you meet hundreds of kids every year and get a chance to spend time with them. He’s one of the finest kids I’ve met. He loves football, which is what we’re looking for. Passionate about it. Just like I said about D.J. (Fluker) yesterday. Loves to practice. Loves to play. Loves to watch film. He’s a leader. He was a leader at Notre Dame not only on the football field but just on that campus. He fits all of those qualifications for us.”
Still, during the get to know process leading up to the Draft, Te’o said he came away more impressed by the Chargers organization than he thought they did of him.
“I think I came away more impressed than they did,” he said. “I really was impressed not only with the facility, and obviously the weather, but just the guys and camaraderie. I know how it feels as a senior in college to have a freshman come in. It’s kind of funny. But when I came in and walked through the halls, guys greeted me and said welcome. That’s something I took away from here and impressed me.”
Small touches like that are some of the many reasons why he is proud to be a San Diego Charger and is ready to start the next chapter of his life wearing the blue and gold.
"I'm really excited to start this new journey in my life here in San Diego," Te'o said. "(I'm) just excited to help us win a Super Bowl….I don’t think it’s fully sunk in yet. There’s a first initial surge of just excitement and joy, and then for me it kind of settled in that “Ok, I know where I’m going. I know what to do. Let’s get started.’ I think it will all start to kick in when I see my jersey and my helmet hanging up in my locker room. To see that Bolt in my locker room, I think that’s when it will finally hit me that I’m playing for the San Diego Chargers and fulfilling a lifelong dream.”
Te’o is further impressed by the outpouring of support his new teammates have shown, as many of them have reached out to welcome the newest Charger into the family.
“It’s been tremendous,” Te’o said. “D.J. (Fluker) thought he was the first one to text me, but he actually texted me this morning.