Te'o's career got off to a bit of a staggered start as he suffered a foot injury early in the Bolts' first preseason game. Te'o fought his way back to start the Chargers' final 15 games, including playoffs. He ended the year with 93 tackles, third on the team and second among the linebackers, while registering five tackles for loss and four passes defensed. Te'o hit his stride late in the year, racking up a season-high 11 tackles in the 2013 regular-season finale, a win over Kansas City that vaulted the Bolts into the playoffs. And in the postseason, Te'o logged 13 total tackles, tied for second-most on the team.
With fellow inside linebacker Donald Butler signing a new multi-year contract this offseason, the interior of the Chargers' defense appears to be in good hands for years to come.
In order to bring Te'o to San Diego, the Chargers made a trade with Arizona last April, moving up seven spots in the second round of the draft to select Te'o with the 38th overall pick. He was the runner-up to Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in voting for the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Te'o captured a host of national awards after leading the Irish to an undefeated 2011 regular season and a date 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 both 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: Second-quarter pressure Week 1 at Arizona helped Corey Liuget get sack on 2nd-and-8 play...two plays later, Jerry Attaochu blocked punt that led to Chargers field goal...suffered foot injury during Sept. 21 game at Buffalo...inactive Games 4-9 (foot)...returned to action Nov. 16 vs. Oakland...first career interception off Tom Brady deep in Chargers’ territory late in second quarter of Dec. 7 NBC Sunday Night Football game vs. New England...nearly had earlier interception off Brady in end zone during second quarter field goal drive...paced linebackers with eight stops Dec. 14 vs. Denver...led team with career-high 15 tackles in 38-35 overtime win at San Francisco Dec. 20...led team and matched career high for second week in row with 15 stops in Dec. 28 season finale at Kansas City.
2013: Inactive Weeks 1-3 (foot)...NFL debut in Sept. 29 win over Dallas...big play with early third-quarter third-down tackle for loss in Oct. 20 win at Jacksonville... Bolts kicked field goal after forcing punt to take 17-3 lead...seasonhigh 11 tackles, including one for loss, in Dec. 29 season finale vs. Kansas City.
COLLEGE: Consensus first-team All-America as senior, including Associated Press, after earning consensus second-team honors as junior...two-time Capital One Academic All-American and National Scholar-Athlete by National Football Foundation as senior...captured 19 different Player of Week awards during career, including seven FBS Independent Defensive Player of Week Awards, five Lott IMPACT Player of Week Awards and four College Football Performance Aards...Notre Dame Rockne Student-Athlete of Year as junior...finished career with 49 starts in 51 games including 48-straight to end career, 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...SuperPrep All-America and Far West Defensive Player of Year as senior...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.