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Notre Dame

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    Notre Dame’s defense may have reached the breaking point when it comes to injuries, with Irish coach Brian Kelly referring to the unit as “devastated.”The latest downer:
At a glance
Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert is on the following preseason watch lists for 2012:
•Maxwell Award (top player)
•Mackey Award (top tight end)
•Lombardi Award (top lineman, linebacker or tight end)
•Walter Camp Award (top player)

Eifert lands on Camp watch list


– Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert will have more than opposing defenses watching him this season.

The Bishop Dwenger graduate landed on his fourth preseason watch list when he was named one of the 50 players to watch for the Walter Camp player of the year award Friday.

Eifert was joined by Irish linebacker Manti Te’o on the Walter Camp watch list.

Eifert was already named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation’s top player; Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s top tight end; and the Lombardi Award, which goes to the nation’s top lineman, linebacker or tight end.

Eifert is Notre Dame’s leading returning receiver. The 6-foot-6, 251-pound senior led all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 63 receptions and 803 receiving yards last season.

Last year, he broke the Irish’s record for most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in a season.

Eifert was named first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, second-team All-American by The Associated Press and third-team All-American by and Phil Steele.

He has 90 receptions for 1,155 yards in his career and is tied with Kyle Rudolph for the fourth-most career receptions by a Notre Dame tight end.

Eifert is No. 2 on the Irish’s all-time list for receiving yards by a tight end, and he needs 39 receptions and 605 receiving yards to break Ken MacAfee’s school records for career catches and receiving yards by a tight end.

Te’o is also on plenty of preseason watch lists. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior is on preseason lists for the Bednarik Award, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player; Nagurski Award, another top defensive player honor; Lombardi Award; and Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker.

Te’o led Notre Dame with 128 tackles last season. He also had 13 1/2 tackles for loss and five sacks.