- Patriots sign 19 Rookie Free Agents...Vellano, 24, played defensive tackle as a sophomore and junior before being moved to end as a senior at Maryland. The 6-2, 285-pounder, was elected as a team captain in 2011 and 2012 and was All-ACC First-Team as a senior in 2012 after finishing with 61 total tackles and six sacks. - New England Patriots
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It's not often that defensive linemen get near triple digits in tackles, but Vellano came close last season, totaling 94 stops as a junior in 2011.
A naturally strong and powerful player, he also plays smart and disciplined, getting the most out of his ability while trying to live up to his family's legacy. Vellano, who was also recruited by Penn State and Boston College, committed to the Terps the moment he was offered a scholarship, the same institution where his father starred at defensive tackle. In fact, the Vellanos are the first father-son All-America combo at the same school in ACC history.
After redshirting, the younger Vellano was an injured back-up in 2009 before becoming a starter as a sophomore in 2010. He started all 25 games the past two seasons at defensive tackle, but will move to defensive end as Maryland transitions to a three-man front in 2012.
Vellano is a productive player because of his nonstop motor, quickness off the snap and hard work as the coaching staff raves about his dedication on the practice field, in the weight room and in the film room. And if he can build upon his All-American season from last year, look for Vellano to be a riser leading up to the 2013 NFL Draft.