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Three Illini Named To Phil Steele's Preseason All-Big Ten Team

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I can't wait til the FWAA sends me my copy of Steele.

Jonathan Brown is the lone first teamer
Jonathan Brown is the lone first teamer
Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

If you're a college football fan you know all about Phil Steele's annual College Football Preview. It's one of the things I look forward to receiving in the mail every year from the FWAA and it will be showing up at my door soon enough.

However, I do not have to wait for Steele's All-Conference teams. None of us do, as he releases them online and on Tuesday he released his All-Big Ten teams, and they include three Illini.

Jonathan Brown was named to the First Team at linebacker, and he was the only Illini to be named first team. Which is somewhat odd considering that Brown missed so much time last season, though his selection is based more on what he did in 2011 and what he could do again in 2013 if he stays healthy.

The other two Illini to make the team were punter Justin DuVernois, who made the second team, and Mason Monheim who was selected as a linebacker on the fourth team.

So there you have it. The three Illini players to be selected were a linebacker who missed half the season, a punter and a linebacker that was only a freshman last season. It sums up 2012 pretty well, doesn't it?

Noticeably absent was Nathan Scheelhaase, who was a fourth team member last year but couldn't crack the top four of Ohio State's Braxton Miller, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Michigan's Devin Gardner and Northwestern's Kain Colter this year.

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