Reporting Brendan Darr
Maryland’s junior defensive tackle Joe Vellano was voted to the second team of the 2011 Walter Camp All-America team. Vellano, a two-time All-ACC choice (Second team in 2010; First team in 2011), finished with 94 tackles with 7.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. Vellano also had four pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, one he returned for touchdown. Seen below:
Vellano said in a statement: “It’s a great honor be chosen for the Walter Camp team,” Vellano said. “I certainly want to thank my teammates and coaches who made it possible, as well as everyone who voted for me.”
Vellano led all defensive lineman in tackles per game (7.8), the highlight being his 20-tackle performance against Georgia Tech. Vellano was one of four team captains on the season. He has also started the last 24 games at defensive tackle.
Joe Vellano is the first Maryland player to earn Walter Camp All-America honors since E.J. Henderson, a first-team choice in 2002. Tight end Vernon Davis (currently with the San Francisco 49ers) and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson (currently with the Cleveland Browns) were the last Terps to earn first or second team All-America distinction. Both were on a variety of teams in 2005.
As I was tweeting earlier, I personally believe Vellano should have been on the first team. Especially when I saw Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy made the first team. Worthy finished with 25 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 3.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and two blocked kicks. Worthy had a fine season and projected to be a first round pick in next April’s draft, but statistically, he didn’t have nearly as great a season as Vellano or even fellow first-teamer, Penn State’s Devon Still.