Taken with the 38th pick in April’s draft, the 22-year-old Te’o inked a four-year contract worth in excess of $5 million on May 10.
Expected to lineup on three downs from the outset, the 6-foot-1, 241 pound Te’o is slated to start at inside linebacker in the Chargers’ 3-4 scheme.
“I don’t think there will be anything like hazing,” said McClain, 28, a two-time All-Pro. “The guy came in, and he’s been working since he stepped on the field. He’s caught everybody’s eye to see that he’s a great player. The sky’s the limit for him.”
Like any rookie, and not because the former Fighting Irish star is Ronaiah Tuiasosopo’s wet dream, Te’o can expect to be the focus of pranks.
However, with diligence and production, the native Hawaiian will earn his colleague’s respect.
Removed from a disappointing 7-9 campaign in the AFC West, Te’o has a distinct presence “on the field” that will better the 16th ranked defense in the league.
A relatively average athletic specimen who couldn’t astound observers during workouts, Te’o relies on intangibles and football smarts to flourish on the gridiron.
Te’o is a solid tackler and natural leader who will mature into a powerful Bolt in a small market.
As noted by Le’Ron McClain, “the sky’s the limit for” Manti Te’o competing as a Charger in “America’s Finest City.”by