Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: TerpsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Vellano emerging as defensive standout

Don Brown, Maryland’s defensive coordinator, recalls a preseason alumni function during which he showed tape of some of his best players. There were clips of middle linebacker Alex Wujciak’s greatest hits of 2009 and shots of strong-side linebacker Adrian Moten excelling during the same season. And then came footage of a somewhat diminutive defensive tackle making hits on warm spring days on a practice field.

“You had to show spring tape because that’s all you had,” Brown said of sophomore Joe Vellano. “But we knew in the spring that he was ready to go.”

Vellano, a 6-2, 285-pound tackle, has become the talk of the defense in recent months. After a breakthrough performance in spring practice – he was arguably the most impressive player on the team in the spring – Vellano had 10 tackles in his first career start against Navy, earning him ACC defensive lineman of the week honors.

“He had a heck of a game,” Coach Ralph Friedgen said. “It was how he has been playing.”

Despite his impressive practice performances, Vellano still had some nerves a few days before the Navy game. Friedgen called Vellano into his office to tell him, “Your greatest strengths are your effort, your leverage and your quickness. If you just do that, you don’t have to do anything more than what you have been doing. Then you’ll do very well.”

And Vellano did. After being injured the past two seasons, the third-year player – and son of two-time all-ACC selection Paul Vellano (1972-73) – has become one of the faces of the defense.

“The biggest thing,” Vellano said, “was having the game slow down for me.”

By Eric Prisbell  |  September 11, 2010; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Football  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Predictions for Maryland-Morgan State game
Next: With 45-point halftime lead, a look ahead to West Virginia

Comments

Vellano's dad was a 2-time All American, get it straight

Posted by: Barno1 | September 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Vellano's dad was a 2-time All American, get it straight

Posted by: Barno1 | September 11, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

He was a one-time All-American and two-time All-ACC.

Posted by: jrchris | September 12, 2010 3:57 AM | Report abuse

Vellano is The Man. Nice to have some interior linemen that can get into the backfield. Kerr and Francis look solid too.

Posted by: aviscardo | September 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company