The anchors of the Maryland football team’s rejuvenated defense received some postseason hardware Monday. Senior captain Joe Vellano was named to first-team all-ACC, while linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield was named to the second team.
Vellano closed out his decorated career with his third all-ACC honors after leading the Terps with 14.0 tackles for a loss in 2012. An all-American in 2011, Vellano played the season’s final month on a badly-sprained ankle, but was able to go out on his own terms in the finale against North Carolina. The defensive lineman finished his career ranked fourth in the ACC with 1.54 tackles for loss per game and tied for eighth with .5 sacks per game this season. Vellano received the second most voting points among all ACC defensive players, finishing only behind Florida State’s Bjoern Werner.
Despite missing the season’s final three games with a torn ACL suffered on Nov. 3 against Georgia Tech, Hartsfield finished 2012 tied for the team lead in tackles with 78. One of Maryland’s four captains alongside Vellano, C.J. Brown and Kevin Dorsey, Hartsfield had seven tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
True freshman Stefon Diggs was named honorable mention all-ACC as a specialist, while linebacker Kenneth Tate and defensive lineman A.J. Francis joined him on the honorable mention list.
Diggs received 33 points, by far the most of any player named to the honorable mention list, but was topped by North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard and Miami’s Duke Johnson on the first and second team. Francis and Tate received 12 points apiece.