|Net Worth:||$4 million|
|Profession/Career:||Professional Athlete, Football Player (NFL)|
|College:||Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters|
|Full Name:||Manti Malietau Louis Te’o|
|Date of Birth:||January 26, 1991|
|Place of Birth:||Laie, Hawaii|
Manti Te’o is a former American football linebacker who played college football at the University of Notre Dame. He gained national attention in 2012 when it was revealed that his girlfriend, who he had talked about extensively in the media, did not actually exist and was a hoax perpetrated by individuals who had duped Te’o into believing he was in a relationship with a woman named Lennay Kekua.
The incident, which became known as the “Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax,” generated significant media coverage and controversy. Te’o went on to be drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the 2013 NFL Draft and played in the NFL for several seasons before retiring in 2020.
Manti Te’o’s Net Worth
Manti Te’o has a net worth of roughly $4 million. He was a highly successful college football player at Notre Dame, earning multiple awards and accolades during his time there. In 2013, he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the second round of the NFL Draft, which came with a large signing bonus and a multi-year contract that is believed to have been close to seven figures.
During his NFL career, Te’o played for the San Diego Chargers and later the New Orleans Saints. He earned a significant salary during this time, as well as bonuses for his performance on the field. According to Spotrac, a website that tracks athlete contracts and salaries, Te’o’s career earnings from the NFL were approximately $11 million. However, this amount does not include any endorsement deals or other sources of income he may have had during his career.
In addition to his football career, Te’o has also been involved in various philanthropic efforts. He established the Manti Te’o Foundation, which focuses on supporting youth initiatives, and has been involved with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the American Heart Association. While philanthropy does not typically generate significant income, it does explain why his net worth may be lower than the total amount earned throughout his lifetime, in addition to the usual cost of living.
Manti Te’o’s Early Life and Childhood
Manti Te’o was born on January 26, 1991, in Laie, Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. He was the eldest of six children in his family and was raised in a deeply religious household, with both of his parents being of Samoan descent and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Growing up, Te’o attended Punahou School, a prestigious private school in Honolulu. He excelled academically and athletically, playing football, basketball, and track and field. In football, he played as a linebacker and running back and quickly gained a reputation as one of the best high school football players in the country. He was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Honolulu Advertiser in both his junior and senior years.
Te’o’s strong performance on the football field attracted the attention of top college football programs around the country. He ultimately chose to attend the University of Notre Dame, a highly respected Catholic university in Indiana known for its storied football program.
Despite being highly recruited and a highly touted prospect, Te’o faced significant challenges in his early college career. He struggled with homesickness and had difficulty adjusting to the cold winters in Indiana. In addition, he suffered a knee injury during his freshman year that required surgery and forced him to redshirt that season.
Despite these setbacks, Te’o persevered and became one of the most successful football players in Notre Dame’s history. He earned numerous awards and accolades, including being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football. He also led Notre Dame to an undefeated regular season and a spot in the national championship game during his senior year.
Manti Te’o’s Wife
Manti Te’o married his wife Jovi Nicole Te’o in 2020. The couple reportedly started dating in 2015, around the time of the catfishing scandal.
Jovi has stood by Manti’s side all these years since the scandal and has been his biggest supporter and fan. Manti and Jovi have two children together, a daughter Hiromi “Hiro” and a son Kyro Aumua.
Manti Te’o’s Most Memorable Games
Manti Te’o had a highly successful college football career at the University of Notre Dame, playing as a linebacker and becoming one of the most decorated players in the school’s history. He played in many memorable games during his time at Notre Dame, but a few stand out as particularly noteworthy.
One of Te’o’s most memorable games came during his junior year in 2010, when Notre Dame played against Utah. Te’o had an outstanding performance in the game, recording 21 tackles, including one for a loss. Despite his efforts, Notre Dame ultimately lost the game, but Te’o’s individual performance was widely praised and helped cement his reputation as one of the best linebackers in college football.
Another memorable game for Te’o came during his senior year in 2012, when Notre Dame faced off against the University of Southern California (USC). Te’o had a standout performance in the game, recording 10 tackles, intercepting a pass, and leading Notre Dame to a resounding 22-13 victory over their archrivals. The win helped Notre Dame finish the regular season with an undefeated record and earn a spot in the national championship game.
Perhaps the most memorable game of Te’o’s college career came in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, where Notre Dame faced off against the University of Alabama. Despite being heavy underdogs, Notre Dame had an outstanding season leading up to the game and many believed they had a chance to upset the Crimson Tide.
However, the game quickly turned into a rout, with Alabama dominating Notre Dame and winning 42-14. Te’o struggled in the game, recording only three tackles and failing to make much of an impact on the field. The loss was a disappointing end to an otherwise exceptional season for Te’o and Notre Dame.
Here are a few other notable games in Manti Te’o’s college football career:
- 2011 Champs Sports Bowl: In this game against Florida State, Te’o recorded 13 tackles, one sack, and one interception, helping Notre Dame secure a 18-14 victory.
- 2012 Shamrock Series: In this game against Miami, Te’o recorded 10 tackles, two interceptions, and a fumble recovery, helping Notre Dame secure a 41-3 victory.
- 2012 Notre Dame vs. Stanford: In this game, Te’o recorded 11 tackles, including two for a loss, and a key interception in overtime to help Notre Dame secure a 20-13 victory over Stanford.
- 2013 Senior Bowl: In this all-star game featuring the top college football players in the country, Te’o recorded seven tackles and an interception, earning co-MVP honors for the game.
- 2013 NFL Scouting Combine: While not a game, Te’o’s performance at the NFL Scouting Combine was widely discussed and analyzed. He ran a disappointing 4.82 second 40-yard dash, which raised questions about his speed and agility, but he also performed well in other drills and interviews, ultimately being selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers.
Awards and Accolades
Manti Te’o was one of the most decorated college football players of his era, earning numerous awards and accolades throughout his career at the University of Notre Dame. Here are some of the most notable:
- Two-time First-team All-American (2011, 2012)
- Nagurski Trophy (2012)
- Lombardi Award (2012)
- Bednarik Award (2012)
- Butkus Award (2012)
- Walter Camp Award (2012)
- Maxwell Award (2012)
- Sporting News Player of the Year (2012)
- Lott Trophy (2012)
- AFCA All-American (2011, 2012)
- Academic All-American (2012)
- Academic All-District (2011, 2012)
- Senior CLASS Award (2012)
- FBS Independent Defensive Player of the Year (2011, 2012)
- Hawaii High School Athletic Association Hall of Honor inductee (2014)
Manti Te’o’s Controversies
The Girlfriend Hoax
Manti Te’o’s college football career was also marked by several controversies that garnered widespread media attention. One of the most notable controversies was the revelation in 2013 that Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, who he had claimed had died of leukemia during the 2012 season on the same day as his grandmother, was in fact a hoax perpetrated by a transgendered woman named Naya Tuiasosopo. The scandal became known as the “Manti Te’o girlfriend hoax” and received significant media coverage, with many questioning Te’o’s involvement and whether he had been complicit in the hoax.
The hoax brought significant negative attention to Te’o and raised questions about his judgment and honesty. Some critics also pointed to the hoax as evidence that Te’o was more interested in his own public image than in his team’s success, suggesting that he had used the story of Kekua’s death as a way to garner media attention and sympathy.
The story received so much attention that Netflix decided to make a documentary about it all these years later.
In the documentary, we hear the story from both sides, Te’o and the person who catfished him, Naya Tuiasosopo. The two met online after sharing many similarities, both in age and ethnic background. Naya, who recently became a transgendered woman, did not feel comfortable yet in her own skin and created the fake profile under, Lennay Kekua. The documentary goes into great detail and shows that Te’o was a true victim of catfishing and was never trying to get attention and sympathy from the public.
The Fight During Practice
Another controversy that surrounded Te’o during his college career was his involvement in a physical altercation with a teammate during a practice in 2009. Te’o and another player reportedly got into a heated argument during practice, which escalated into a physical fight that required several coaches to intervene. While the incident did not result in any serious injuries or disciplinary action, it raised concerns about Te’o’s temperament and ability to work well with others.
Despite these controversies, Te’o remained a highly respected and successful player during his college career, earning numerous awards and accolades for his exceptional play on the field. While the controversies undoubtedly tarnished his reputation to some extent, Te’o remains a well-regarded figure among many Notre Dame fans and supporters.
Manti Te’o’s Business Ventures and Philanthropy
Since leaving college football, Manti Te’o has been involved in a variety of business ventures and philanthropic efforts. Here are a few examples:
- Career in the NFL: After a standout college career, Te’o was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft by the San Diego Chargers. He spent four seasons with the Chargers before signing with the New Orleans Saints in 2017, where he played for two seasons before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2019.
- Entrepreneurship: In addition to his football career, Te’o has also been involved in several business ventures. In 2014, he launched his own clothing line called 51fifteen, which specializes in high-end streetwear. He has also been involved in various real estate ventures, including a development project in his hometown of Laie, Hawaii.
- Philanthropy: Te’o has been actively involved in philanthropic efforts throughout his career. In 2013, he founded the Manti Te’o Stand Strong Foundation, which is dedicated to providing support and resources for families affected by cancer. He has also been involved in other charitable initiatives, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.
- Community Engagement: Te’o has remained active in his local community, particularly in his hometown of Laie. He has been involved in various community engagement initiatives, including youth football programs and educational initiatives. He has also been an advocate for environmental conservation efforts in Hawaii.
How Does Manti Te’o Like to Spend His Time and Money?
Manti Te’o has a wide range of interests and hobbies and has been known to spend his time and money on a variety of different pursuits. Here are a few examples:
- Travel: Te’o has a love of travel and has been known to visit destinations all around the world. He has been particularly drawn to locations with natural beauty and has frequently shared photos and stories from his travels on social media.
- Sports: Unsurprisingly, given his background in football, Te’o is an avid sports fan and enjoys watching and playing a variety of different sports. He has been spotted attending professional basketball and football games, and has also been known to play recreational basketball and volleyball.
- Music: Te’o has a love of music and has been known to attend concerts and music festivals. He is also a talented musician himself and has been known to play the ukulele and sing.
- Fashion: As mentioned previously, Te’o launched his own clothing line, 51fifteen, in 2014, and has a passion for fashion and streetwear. He has been known to attend fashion events and shows, and has also been involved in fashion collaborations and partnerships.
- Giving back: Te’o has a strong commitment to philanthropy and has been known to use his time and money to support charitable causes. In addition to founding his own foundation, the Manti Te’o Stand Strong Foundation, he has also been involved in various other charitable initiatives.
Inspirational Quotes by Manti Te’o
“Every setback is a setup for a comeback.” (BrainyQuote)
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” (Goalcast)
“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” (Pass It On)
“Adversity introduces a man to himself.” (Deseret News)
“If you give, you will receive tenfold.” (HuffPost)
“When you fall, get back up and never give up.” (Sports Illustrated)
“Every day is a new opportunity to be great.” (Sports Illustrated)
“Success is not a destination, it’s a journey.” (Goalcast)
“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams.” (Deseret News)
“My faith is something that keeps me grounded and keeps me going.” (Christian Post)