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Justin Tuck: Manti Te'o would fit in well with the Giants

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o works out at

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o works out at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. (Jan. 23, 2013) Credit: Getty

The Giants spent two days with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o last week and there is a possibility they could spend the 19th overall pick in next week’s draft on him as well. One current Giant said he would welcome the addition of the controversial player.

“I think he’d do well (with the Giants),” defensive captain Justin Tuck said on Tuesday at an event at Umberto’s of New Hyde Park. “I think whoever drafts Manti is going to get a great player. I know a lot of the scrutiny comes from the girlfriend thing and how he played against Alabama, but I’ve had an opportunity to see Manti grow from a freshman to what he is now. And I think on the football field, he’s going to be really, really successful for whoever drafts him.”

Like Te’o, Tuck is a product of Notre Dame. He said his fellow Golden Domer will undoubtedly face some obstacles in whatever professional locker room he enters due to the catfishing controversy that broke open this past winter.

“I think he understands that,” Tuck said. “But hopefully for him wherever he goes, he gets a veteran guy that understands that the more comfortable a rookie is – regardless of who it is – a rookie is in these situations they’re going to face, the better they’re going to play. So yeah, he’s going to take his shots and things of that nature, but hopefully everything will just be fun-loved and he’ll get ready to get on the football field. Because that’s what it’s about. Football.”

The Giants haven’t drafted a linebacker in the first round since they took Carl Banks in 1984. They may have a need there this year.

“We got some changes at the linebacker corps obviously with Chase (Blackburn) moving on and (Michael) Boley moving on, some new faces,” Tuck said. “But the young guys that have been there, the (Spencer) Paysingers, the (Jacquian) Williams, guys like that, they’re going to have to step up, no question about it. I feel very confident in their abilities. I feel very confident they’re willing and able to take on that new role. And I think they’ll do fine. I really do.”

And maybe they’ll even have Te’o to help out.

New York Sports