Brian Kelly: Manti Te'o was not exposed vs. Alabama

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame's head coach says there is more to Manti Te'o than the BCS title game.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly doesn't believe Manti Te'o's performance against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game is indicative of his chances to be a good NFL player, according to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. Kelly was asked on NFL Network if the linebacker was exposed in that loss, and said "No." The coach believes that Te'o's college career outweighs what happened in the loss to Alabama:

"I at first felt that we got pushed around a little bit, but as we watched more film, I think our guys didn’t play their very best, and Alabama obviously played very well in that game," Kelly said. "But I think as people watched more film, and saw Manti Te’o and his body of work over the last four years, they came to their own conclusion that this is a very, very good football player."

The Notre Dame defense provided little resistance against the Crimson Tide. Alabama steamrolled to 35 straight points of the game and put up 265 yards on the ground. Te'o did tally 10 tackles in the game, but part of that was the wealth of opportunities.

That game was a precursor to the leak of the discovery of the Lennay Kekua hoax. Both have dealt damage to Te'o's public perception. Since then, he has dropped from a potential top 10 selection to a fringe first-round prospect.

SB Nation's Matthew Fairburn had Te'o going to Green Bay at No. 26 in his three-round mock draft on Apr. 8, but his latest first-round update doesn't feature the Notre Dame star after the Packers traded away their top pick to Buffalo.

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