Originally Posted by KevinNYC
As for why Te'o would go for this, I can only speculate that perhaps as a devout Mormon, he found it easy to have a long distance girlfriend to avoid any pre-marital temptation and also leave him time just to dedicate to sports/school.
and he's also a virgin so this would been his first serious attempt at courtship. maybe he was enamored with some idealized version of the process that didn't dwell on the physical.
Also he's "faithful" enough to believe in a unseen god, so why not an invisible girlfriend?