Four Terrapins receive postseason all-star game invitations


Joe Vellano. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Decorated Maryland defensive lineman Joe Vellano has accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game, Coach Randy Edsall said Friday. 

Vellano, the anchor of the Terrapins’ defensive line, finished the season as a first-team all-ACC selection for the third straight year despite playing the last four games on a badly sprained ankle. He tallied 61 tackles, 14.0 for a loss and six sacks. 

The East-West Shrine Game will take place on Jan. 19, 2013 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Last year, more than 90 players from the 2012 game received invitations to NFL training camps.

Tight end Matt Furstenburg has also accepted an invitation to play in the Texas vs. the Nation all-star game, to be held on Feb. 2, 2013 at Eagle Stadium in Allen, Tex. The fifth-year senior had just 16 receptions this season for 206 yards and two touchdowns, but is a big-bodied, physical tight end whose blocking abilities could pave the way for a professional future. 

Defensive standouts Kenneth Tate and A.J. Francis, both of whom were named honorable mention all-ACC this season, have received invitations to the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic in Montgomery, Ala. Tate, a linebacker, also got tabbed for the Casino Del Sol All-Star Game in Tuscon, and is currently weighing his options, Edsall said. 

Francis, a defensive lineman, is currently in Miami working out and preparing for a potential professional future. 

According to Edsall, no Maryland player has received an NFL combine invitation as of yet. 

Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.

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Alex Prewitt · December 21, 2012

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