Originally written on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 3/1/13

Manti Te'o was in Atlantic City Friday to pick up a pair of awards from the Maxwell Football Club after he was named the organization's College Player of the Year and Chuck Bednarik Defensive Player of the Year — two awards that haven't been swept by one player for 75 years until the Notre Dame linebacker pulled the historic double-down today. Te'o was surrounded by four security guards from Harrah's Casino and a couple of Maxwell officials intent on keeping reporters from asking any questions that didn't pertain to the awards, but that didn't stop Te'o from talking about the NFL Scouting Combine where the catfished player floundered in front of NFL coaches. Te'o claims he was not asked any personally probing questions by NFL officials — at least not that he was saying publicly. Questioned whether any teams might have flouted Federal or State hiring laws by prying into his personal life and sexual orientation, Te'o was vague. "No, I don't think that's a question they asked," he said.  "Anything they asked me I answered and answered honestly." The projected first rounder has seen his stock plummet after the fake girlfriend hoax and running a lumbering 4.8 in the 40-yard dash and hoped to make up for it at Notre Dame's Pro Day on March 26. "It’s difficult to balance things and stay focused on what you’ve got to do," he said in response to a question about his poor 40 time. "For me, I’m glad that the Combine is done, that it’s finished. Now I’m focused on more specific things, like my 40. I don’t have to worry about other things. "But definitely it’s difficult. I’m not going to say it’s easy. It’s hard." Still, he hopes land with a NFL team despite the setbacks and doesn't care what club. "To be honest with you I really don’t know (where he'll end up),"Te'o said. "I hope to get drafted. I think that’s everybody’s hope at this point and you prepare and work hard and do your best and hope for the best. "I don’t know specifically where I’m going to go. I just hope one of those 32 places may be my home."

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