October 13, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Mason Monheim (43) receives congratulations from linebacker Jonathan Brown (45) after recovering a fumble in the fourth quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 45-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football: Three Illini Make Phil Steele’s All-Big Ten Pre-Season Teams

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On Tuesday Phil Steele, one of the most well respected college football writer and analyst, released his annual All-Big Ten teams.

Eight Fighting Illini were named the list this year, compared to seven last season (five of them being Illinois players in the 2013 NFL Draft).

Here are the Fighting Illini who earned pre-season honors this year:

First Team

Jonathan Brown – LB – Senior

Second Team

Justin DuVernois – P – Junior

Third Team

None

Fourth Team

Mason Monheim – LB – Sophomore

If last year is any indicator, Illini players who have made this list go on to be drafted by NFL teams in the NFL Draft. However, what does they mean for Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase?

Before the 2012 season, Scheelhaase was named to Steele’s All-Big Ten fourth team behind Taylor Martinez (Nebraska), Braxton Miller (Ohio State), and Denard Robinson (Michigan), but was left off of the list in 2013.

Nathan Scheelhaase could have been left off Steele’s list because of injury problems or his down year in 2012, but this should serve as a motivation tool for the Illini senior this year. He will need to go out in 2013 and prove to the world that he is not only one of the best Big Ten QBs, but one of the better QBs in the nation.

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Tags: All-Big Ten Big Ten Football Illinois Fighting Illini Jonathan Brown Justin DuVernois Mason Monheim

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