When the San Diego Chargers traded up to the top half of the second round of the NFL Draft, it was pretty clear who they were taking. Needing linebacking help, the Chargers wasted no time in running up a card that informed the world they were drafting Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. When it came to the Irish linebacker, some teams viewed him as a real talent but others still couldn’t forget the fact that he had gotten himself tangled up in the Lennay Kekua hoax back in January.
But this was something the Chargers weren’t concerned about and appear ready to give him a chance on their defense. But if you’re wondering if Te’o is still a gullible fool, Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter reported that when Te’o saw a California area code pop up on his Caller ID, he thought he was being pranked by his friends.
manti says when he saw a california area code he thought some of his friends were trying to prank him. can’t make this stuff up.
— Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) April 27, 2013
This sort of puts to rest any doubts as to whether or not the Lennay Kekua hoax is still in his head. It may not be as prominent as before, but it seems obvious that he learned his lesson from the ordeal and is being extra cautious moving forward.
Now that he’s with the Chargers, the hoax will take one more intensifying turn in the news cycle when the NFL season rolls around, and you’d better believe that Chiefs and Raiders fans will have their fair share of fun at his expense.
But this is a much needed new page for Te’o and he’s going to a defense that happened to be in the top 10 anyways, so it might not take long for him to learn the ropes and settle by making touchdowns by running backs the only thing imaginary on the field.