PHILADELPHIA— The Maxwell Football Club announced Monday that University of Maryland senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano has been named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award.
The award, named after former University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Eagle great Chuck Bednarik, has been presented since 1995 to honor the nation's top defensive player. Vellano is one of 65 players on the initial watch list which includes 10 players from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 29, the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 19, and the winners of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 6.
A consensus first team All-ACC selection and a second team All-American as a junior, Vellano led the FBS in tackles by a lineman with 7.8 per game last season. Vellano has started the last 25 games for Maryland, racking up 157 tackles including 18 for loss in that span. His 7.5 career sacks are tops on the team among returnees.