Manti Te’o turned in a dominating performance during the final month of the 2014 season and looks to continue that production in 2015.
In the final month of the 2014 season, Te’o recorded 42 tackles, including 29 in the last two games versus San Francisco and Kansas City. He also collected the first interception and first sack of his career. Te’o’s end of the year tackle total (68) tied for fourth on the team.
Te’o was perhaps the most renowned figure in the 2013 NFL Draft. In order to bring him to San Diego, the Chargers made a trade with Arizona, moving up seven spots in the second round to select him with the 38th overall pick. Te’o was the runner-up to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in voting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy. At Notre Dame, he captured a host of national awards after leading the Irish to an undefeated 2011 regular season and a meeting with Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. Te’o led the Irish in tackles and he was third in the nation with seven interceptions. His award haul included the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, the Maxwell Award, the Lombardi Trophy, the Bednarik Award, the Nagurski Award, the Butkus Award, the Lott Trophy and the Notre Dame Monogram Club MVP Award. A team captain, Te’o was also a consensus All-America on the football field and inside the classroom.
A native of Laie, Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Te’o burst onto the national scene in 2010 when he led the Irish with 133 tackles as a sophomore. Awards began to pour in a year later after a team-leading 128-tackle junior season that included a career-high five sacks. Teo’s seven interceptions in 2012 set a Notre Dame record for linebackers and they were the most by a linebacker in the NCAA since 2000.
TRANSACTION HISTORY: Second-round pick by Chargers (38), April 26, 2013...signed May 13.
2014: Injured foot Sept. 21 at Buffalo...inactive next six games (foot)...returned Nov. 16 vs. Oakland...first career interception off Tom Brady Dec. 7 vs. New England on NBC’s Sunday Night Football...team-high 14 tackles in 38-35 overtime win at San Francisco Dec. 20...team and season-high 15 stops Dec. 28 at Kansas City.
2013: Inactive Weeks 1-3 (foot)...NFL debut Sept. 29 vs. Dallas...season-high 11 tackles, including one for loss, in Dec. 29 playoff-clinching season finale vs. Kansas City...tied for second on squad with 13 tackles in playoffs.
COLLEGE: Consensus first-team All-America as senior and second-team as junior...two-time Capital One Academic All-America...National Scholar-Athlete by National Football Foundation as senior...19 career Player of Week awards, including seven FBS Independent Defensive Player of Week Awards, five Lott IMPACT Player of Week Awards and four College Football Performance Awards...Notre Dame Rockne Student-Athlete of Year as junior...finished career with 437 total tackles (third in school history), 34 tackles for loss (11th), 8.5 sacks, seven interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries...played at Notre Dame from 2009-12...graphic design degree.
PERSONAL: Born in Laie, Hawaii...USA Today Defensive Player of Year and Sporting News High School Athlete of Year as senior 2008 at Punahou High School in Laie, Hawaii...led school to first-ever state title as senior...invited to 2009 Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla. and Hawaii Prep Classic, featuring all-stars from U.S. mainland vs. Hawaiian all-stars...first-ever recipient of Butkus Award as top prep linebacker in country...Hawaii’s Gatorade Player of Year in 2007 and ’08...2007 Defensive Player of Year and first-team all-state by Honolulu Star-Bulletin and two-time first-team all-state and conference defensive player of year by Honolulu Advertiser.