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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
ND has 20 on Steele's all-independent team

By Matt Fortuna

Notre Dame placed 20 players on Phil Steele's preseason all-independent team, including 13 on the first team.

BYU was a close second with 18. Army and Navy each had seven.

The usual suspects (Cierre Wood, Manti Te'o, Tyler Eifert) make the first team, as does Notre Dame's entire starting defensive line, even without transfer Aaron Lynch. There are some leaps of faith here, but that's to be expected when picking 52 total players from a pool of just four schools, as many players are unproven. Bennett Jackson and Christian Lombard will likely be first-year starters, and who knows if Davonte Neal will even get the chance to return punts during his first year with the Irish.

Here are all of the Notre Dame players on Steele's preseason all-independent team:

FIRST TEAM
SECOND TEAM