I'm not vouching for this guy's character, but I can vouch for the fact that these kinds of Internet hoaxes do happen.
My husband and I used to play Farmville on Facebook, and among the FV "neighbors" we had was a very nice young girl (ironically, also from Hawaii as is Te'o). Most people who are FV "neighbors" just stick to FB posts about the game, but this young lady would comment and "like" other things that I posted...she even claimed to be a Dallas Cowboys' fan after I posted something about the Cowboys last year. In short, she became sort of an online friend than just someone who played Farmville. We stayed friends on FB even after I stopped playing FV.
In September of last year she started talking about an upcoming hospital stay and that she wasn't looking forward to it. The day before she was supposed to go into the hospital was the last time she was heard from. Since then, many of her FB friends posted well wishes and concerns on her wall...all going unanswered. Fast forward to about 3 weeks ago....someone suggested that perhaps her whole profile was just a hoax. I was one of the ones who didn't want to believe it, but it turns out that NO ONE on her Facebook friends' list had ever met her in person. This young lady built an entire profile for herself, complete with a boyfriend who was in the military and who took her on some very nice romantic dates (according to the stories she posted), she was a surfer (posted BEAUTIFUL pics of the Hawaiian beaches), and a wonderful cook (pics that would make Martha Stewart drool). All fake. One of her mutual "friends" told us about a site where you can find out the source of pics that are posted on the Internet...turned out, all of her pics were stock photos.