In 2011 Vellano was named a second team All-American and consensus All-ACC selection. As a junior, Vellano led the FBS in tackles by a defensive lineman (7.8 per game). He has started 25 consecutive games for the Terrapins.
Vellano is one of 65 players on the watch list. Other ACC candidates include Miami’s Ray-Ray Armstrong, North Carolina State’s David Amerson, North Carolina’s Kevin Reddick, as well as three Seminoles – Brandon Jenkins, Lamarcus Joyner and Xavier Rhodes – and three Hokies – Kyle Fuller, James Gayle and Bruce Taylor.
Notable winners of the award include Tyrann Mathieu (2011, LSU), Patrick Peterson (2010, LSU), Ndamukong Suh (2009, Nebraska) and Rey Maualuga (2008, USC). Maryland’s E.J. Henderson took home the award in 2002.
Vellano will make the switch from nose tackle to defensive end in the Brian Stewart’s 3-4 defense and could be a greater force rushing the quarterback.
In May, Vellano was named to the 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list, an honor given to well-rounded college football stars who accomplish impressive feats both on and off the field.
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