Ronaiah Tuiasosopo Implicated In Manti Te'o Hoax On Twitter By Two Who Claim Knowledge Of Deceit

Shock was the overwhelming, initial reaction of most to news that the entire narrative surrounding Manti Te'o and his late girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, was a hoax. That Kekua had never existed and never succumbed to leukemia, as Deadspin uncovered, exposed one of the most prevalent and inspirational narratives of the college football season as a lie. Both Notre Dame fans and the college football media who had covered Te'o and in some cases disseminated his story were floored, which is why it didn't go unnoticed that at least two individuals on Twitter didn't seem surprised in the least. In fact, tweets from two accounts -- @jayRahz and @ceeweezy51 -- in the hours after Deadspin's bombshell report dropped suggested that this hoax was old news.

After this initial response to the Deadspin piece, @ceeweezy51 tweeted about the story, re-tweeted a few comments of others.

A short while later, @jayRahz addressed the Kekua hoax, eventually claiming to have known about it as far back as 2008. Of note, several of these tweets implicate Ronaiah Tuiasosopo. This would seem to be the same Ronaiah Tuiasosopo who figures prominently in the Deadspin story as the architect of the hoax and a friend of Te'o. Arizona Cardinals fullback Reagan Maui'a told ESPN that he had actually met Kekua through Tuiasosopo in 2011. He described Kekua as having a "Volleyball-type of physique." Perhaps coincidentally, volleyball does come up in tweets or re-tweets on the @ceeweezy51 timeline.

The subsequent stream of tweets by @jayRahz began to draw wider attention to the jokes and conversation among these two, notably from Justin Megahan (@justinrmegahan).

Going further back in the timelines of both of these Twitter accounts reveals even more discussion of Kekua and the hoax. The mentions range from jokes about running the persona to a more pointed dig on the night of the BCS National Championship Game when Te'o and Notre Dame were defeated by Alabama.

Perhaps most telling is a tweet from @jayRahz to an account associated with the film Catfish about the elaborate hoax.

All of this older chatter seems to go right along with the timeline established by Deadspin.

It also seems that these tweets by persons who claim to have longstanding knowledge of the hoax do not implicate Te'o as being a part of it, with @jayRahz going as far as to tweet "thats all RONAIAH!!" Was this an attempt to keep his own name clear or was it a possible validation of Te'o's claim that he was a victim? Or could these two accounts be yet another part of this elaborate deception?