Three from ND on Athlon All-America teams

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.