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.