Potential Giants draftee Manti Te’o speaks out

During a meeting with the Detroit Lions Tuesday, former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o addressed his critics … about his on-the-field questions.

Caught up in the bizarre fake girlfriend story was a poor outing for the linebacker during Notre Dame’s BCS Championship Game vs. Alabama. Against what many consider to be the top-level athletes in the college game, Te’o registered 10 tackles … and that was about it.

With the off-the-field controversy garnering national attention for all of the wrong reasons, as well as the bad taste he left in the mouths of scouts and draft experts, Te’o used Tuesday’s meeting to finally respond.

“It’s a little frustrating people judge you on one game,” Te’o told the Lions’ official site, “but I don’t feel it defines my career at Notre Dame.”

Te’o led all Notre Dame defenders with 113 tackles in 2013, more than 30 more than the next player. He also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and seven interceptions, the most by a linebacker in a single season in the FBS since 2001.

In his career at Notre Dame, Te’o made more than 400 tackles, good for eighth all time in school history. He was a consensus pre-season All-American linebacker 2012 and was a finalist for both the Lott and Butkus Awards in 2011.

Te’o is often linked to the G-Men, as well as the linebacker-hungry Bears and Vikings. Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN is confident the former Fighting Irish standout will not fall past the Ravens at No. 32.

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