Notre Dame Football: Ed Reynolds

Surprise, surprise: Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix are on a preseason All-America team. And it probably won't be the last time for the Notre Dame defensive line duo.

Athlon's Steven Lassan has both Tuitt and Nix on the first-team defense. They are joined by South Carolina all-everything end Jadeveon Clowney and Arizona State tackle Will Sutton, who will face the Irish on Oct. 5 in Arlington, Texas.

Fifth-year left tackle and likely two-time Irish captain Zack Martin also makes Athlon's list, checking in on the third-team offensive line. Martin is the only Notre Dame offensive player to make any of Athlon's four All-America teams.

The first-team distinction for Tuitt and Nix should come as no surprise, as both helped spur the Irish to No. 2 in the nation last season in scoring defense. Both are already being projected as high-to-mid first-round picks in the 2014 NFL draft.

The SEC had the most selections, with 25 players. The Pac-12 had 23 players across the four teams.

Other notable first-teamers that will face Notre Dame this year include USC receiver Marqise Lee, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan, Stanford guard David Yankey, BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy and Stanford safety Ed Reynolds.
Mel Kiper Jr. is taking the week to look at 2014 NFL draft prospects by position groups. Not surprisingly, Notre Dame makes its presence felt at the defensive end spot.

Kiper lists Stephon Tuitt as his No. 2 defensive end prospect for this draft class, pending Tuitt's decision on the NFL following this fall. He loves the junior's burst, and he says that, combined with nose guard Louis Nix, Tuitt can help the Irish form a scary defensive front this season.

Right behind Tuitt? That would be fellow ballyhooed 2011 recruit Aaron Lynch, now at USF. Kiper sees Lynch as a matchup nightmare this season, which is hardly a surprise considering he will be playing in the Big East two years after notching 5.5 sacks as a true freshman against Notre Dame's schedule in 2011.

Jadeveon Clowney tops the list, which should be a foregone conclusion at this point considering most analysts were in agreement that the South Carolina star would have been the No. 1 overall selection in this past month's draft.

Kiper this week has also looked at top-five receivers , top-five running backs and top-five safeties , many of whom -- Marqise Lee, Silas Redd, Damien Williams, Ed Reynolds and Jordan Richards — Notre Dame will see during the 2013 season.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Official Visit: Imminent ESPN 300 Decisions
Recruiting reporters Erik McKinney, Damon Sayles, Derek Tyson and Tom VanHaaren join ESPN's Phil Murphy to discuss some upcoming decisions for ESPN 300 recruits and a pair of five-star prospects who recently postponed their commitment date.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

FBS INDEP. SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 9/20