Meet the Terps Defense: #29 Joe Vellano

Meet the Terps Defense: #29 Joe Vellano

College Park, MD. - TSR gets you acclimated with the 2012 Terps by taking a look at the defense.

Player: Joe Vellano

Hometown: Rexford, N.Y.

Class: Senior

Height & Weight: 6-foot-2, 285 pounds

Projected Position on Depth Chart: Starting defensive end

The rundown: One of the team's most dominant defenders, Vellano was an All-American and a consensus first team All-ACC pick last season when starting all 12 games at defensive tackle. He led the FBS in tackles by a lineman last year with 7.8 tackles per game, was tied for 5th in the ACC and 92nd in the nation in fumble recoveries with 0.17 per game and was ranked 10th in the ACC in fumbles forced with 0.17 per game. Against Miami, Vellano had two fumble recoveries, one which he ran back 30 yards for a touchdown. Vellano had a career-high 20 tackles including 14 unassisted stops and one tackle for loss against Georgia Tech. Vellano finished the season with 94 tackles, 54 solo stops, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two fumbles forced and four pass breakups.

Expectations for 2012: Vellano looks poised to have another solid year in the new 3-4 defense that the Terps implemented this offseason. Vellano has moved from tackle over to end, meaning that he may play a bigger role in the pass rush and could record more sacks this season from the position. One of the captains on the team, Vellano will be asked to play even more early during the season due to the lack of depth on the line caused by injuries. Vellano will be a force again this season and it would not be surprising to see him improve on his numbers from last year.

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