Irish land two ESPN.com All-Americans
Notre Dame had two players make the team: Manti Te'o and Stephon Tuitt.
Te'o's case is simple — seven national awards, 103 tackles, nine takeaways and the heart and soul of the nation's No. 1 scoring defense, overcoming the in-season deaths of his girlfriend and his grandmother along the way.
Tuitt burst onto the scene this year as a sophomore, making Irish fans forget about USF transfer Aaron Lynch with his 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the season-opener and never slowing down, notching 12 sacks along the way, 1.5 off Justin Tuck's school record.
Awaiting the Irish in the Jan. 7 national title game will be three All-Americans, as Alabama center Barrett Jones, guard Chance Warmack and cornerback Dee Milliner all made ESPN.com's team as well. Jones is a repeat team member, making it last season as a left tackle for the Crimson Tide.
For the complete package, which includes video highlights and write-ups of all 25 ESPN.com first-team All-Americans, click here.
ABOUT THIS BLOG
Powers is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He joined ESPNChicago in May 2009 and lives in Chicago.
Rittenberg joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four years at the Daily Herald, where he covered sports at Notre Dame, Northwestern, DePaul and several other colleges. He lives in Chicago and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Bennett joined ESPN.com in August 2008 after nine years at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where he covered college sports and the University of Louisville beat. He lives in Louisville and writes for the Big Ten blog.
Fortuna joined ESPN.com in 2011 after working for MLB.com and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where he covered college sports. He grew up in New York and is a Penn State graduate. Fortuna's Notre Dame blog is here.
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|4. Parrker Westphal||83||CB||Northwestern|
|5. Kyron Watson||83||OLB||Kansas|
|6. Clayton Thorson||83||QB-PP||Northwestern|
|7. Dewayne Hendrix||83||DE||Tennessee|
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