Some good news from College Park tonight: Junior defensive tackle Joe Vellano earned second-team honors on the Walter Camp all-American team.
The announcement was made Thursday evening as part of ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards Show.
After earning second-team all-ACC honors last season, Vellano received first-team all-ACC recognition this season. He had 94 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups and two fumble recoveries this season.
“It is a great honor to be chosen for the Walter Camp team,” Vellano said in a statement released by Maryland. “I certainly want to thank my teammates and coaches who made it possible, as well as everyone who voted for me.”
Vellano led the Football Bowl Subdivision in tackles by a defensive lineman (7.8 per game). And he had a memorable career day against Georgia Tech, when he posted 20 tackles, the most in a game by a defensive lineman in the FBS this season.
Vellano, one of four team captains this season, impressed Georgia Tech Coach Paul Johnson.
“I told him after the game that was as good as anybody has played against one of my teams,” Johnson said after the Oct. 8 game. “Vellano may be the best [defensive] player we have faced in my four years at Georgia Tech.”
Vellano has started the last 24 games at defensive tackle for Maryland. He has already pledged to return next season.
“Joe is not only one heck of a football player, but also a great leader who plays hard on each and every play,” Maryland Coach Randy Edsall said in a statement. “This is a tremendous honor for Joe and his family, and certainly well deserved. I could not be happier for him.”
Vellano is the first Maryland player to earn Walter Camp all-American honors since E.J. Henderson, who was a first-team selection in 2002. In 2005, Vernon Davis and D’Qwell Jackson were selected to a variety of all-American teams.