No. 19. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland
2011 stats: He finished third on the team with 94 tackles, had 7.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Previous ranking: Not ranked.
Making the case for Vellano: Let Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson make the case. Vellano had a career-best 20 tackles against the Jackets, the most by any defensive lineman in the FBS. After the game, Johnson said, “I told him after the game that was as good as anybody has played against one of my teams. Vellano may be the best (defensive) player we have faced in my four years at Georgia Tech." Vellano led the FBS in tackles by a defensive lineman with 7.8 per game.