Manti Te’o will be taking an indefinite break from Twitter to prepare for the NFL draft, according to ESPN sources.
The former Notre Dame linebacker deleted his Twitter account, @MTeo_5, sometime during the Superbowl broadcast Sunday.
A source cited by ESPN said Te’o will remain off Twitter in preparation for the NFL draft combine, which begins two weeks from Wednesday in Indianapolis.
Te’o was recently at the center of a national controversy after Deadspin.com reported that Te’o’s girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, had never existed. She had reportedly died of leukemia during the season.
It was later revealed that Te’o was the victim of a hoax when a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo admitted to posing as Kekua and interacting with Te’o via phone calls and text messages.
Te’o has denied any part in the hoax, but has suffered nationwide criticism for misleading the media as to the nature of his relationship with Kekua. At the time of the Discover BCS National Championship, Te’o appealed to 88 percent of the people that knew of him, according to a Nielsen/E-Poll survey. When the hoax was revealed, Te’o’s appeal dropped to 15 percent.
Te’o’s draft stock has not suffered as significantly. According to ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper, Te’o dropped from the No. 6 to No. 12 overall prospect, due to what Kiper described as “positional value.”
Te’o skipped the Senior Bowl in January, which he was invited to, and instead will appear before NFL scouts at the combine.