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ACC honors Maryland football players

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Published on: Thursday, November 29, 2012

By Brandy L. Simms

Maryland senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano was named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference, the league announced on Monday.

Vellano, a New York native, was among a group of five Terrapin student-athletes honored by the ACC.

The honor marked the second straight year Vellano was named All-ACC. The 6-foot-2, 285-pound standout registered 61 tackles including 14 tackles for a loss and recorded six sacks despite playing with lingering injuries for much of the season. He also ranked fourth in the league with 1.17 TFLs per game and finished seventh in the league with .50 sacks per game.

Maryland senior linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield was named second-team All-ACC while Stefon Diggs, A.J. Francis and Kenneth Tate received honorable mentions.

Diggs, Francis and Tate are all local products who played high school football in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference.

Diggs, a freshman wide receiver and kick returner, registered 1, 896 all-purpose yards this season, marking the second most yards in a single season in school history. He also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. The Good Counsel graduate helped lead the Falcons to three consecutive WCAC titles during his tenure at the Montgomery County private school.

Meanwhile, Francis, an Anne Arundel County native, was a three-year starter at Gonzaga College High School in the District of Columbia and Tate, a Forestville native, prepped at Hyattsville’s DeMatha Catholic High School before joining the Maryland football program four years ago.

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