“I think he should have seen some warning signs. But at the same time I think you have to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he should have seen warning signs,” said Alex Streff, a freshman business major from Red Wing, Minn.
Streff said he believes Te’o should have tried to find out what hospital his purported girlfriend was in. Lennay Kekua, who Te’o said was made up as part of an elaborate hoax, “died” in September. Months later Te’o found out his online sweetheart never existed.
Pat Boduch, a sophomore economics major from Geneva, Ill., said he thinks Te’o’s interview helped him gain credibility.
“I think last night helped,” he said. “I read the transcript and it kind of makes sense. We’ve all done things we don’t want our parents to know. I’m inclined to believe his story.”
Others weren’t sure what to believe, but said they hoped Te’o had told the truth, but want to hear more.
“I just hope he’s a naive young man,” said Tom Whitmer, a fire truck salesman from Neenah, Wis. “I was a big fan of Manti Te’o. I followed him all through the season and all the emotional aspects of it. So I just hope he’s real naive and gullible.”