Manti Te'o's hometown of Laie stand behind him

Published On: Jan 19 2013 05:43:00 PM HST
LAIE, Hawaii -

Manti Te'o's hometown of Laie stands behind the embattled linebacker.

Longtime neighbor to Te'o, Stuart Harrington, said he will always give Te'o the benefit of the doubt. Many in his hometown are proud of Manti for speaking up and admitting to his on-line relationship with a girl he thought to be Lennay Kekua.

"I can see him being embarrassed, but he's a good kid. Being put in this kind of situation I don't know how anybody would react. I think it would be really hard," said Harrington.

Te'o told ESPN reporter Jeremy Schapp that he never met the girl in person and admits he lied to his dad about details of his relationship.

"It shows that he's a human being put on a high pedestal. It's good to show that your human because everybody makes mistakes," said Reuben Alisa who supports Te'o.

Manti said "No, never, never, not ever," to being a part of the hoax, and those who know him say time will show that he's telling the truth.

"Honesty and integrity is at the top of his agenda and I think it will see him through this," said Alisa.

Manti said the guy behind the hoax, 22-year-old, Roniaiah Tuiasosopo called and apologized. Some fans of Manti's aren't going to forgive easily.

"I think it's extremely cruel. I think it has no place in our society quite honestly," said neighbor Darren Duerden.

Even though Manti is training in Florida right now for the NFL combine and the upcoming draft, he can be assured that his hometown continues to root for him.


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