More preseason recognition for Maryland DL Vellano

July 16, 2012 | WNST Staff

CHICAGO – Maryland fifth-year senior linebacker Kenny Tate on Monday was named as one of 51 candidates to the Butkus Award watch list, which honors the nation’s best linebackers, while Joe Vellano was named to the Lombardi Award watch list.

The Butkus Award, named for NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, is presented annually to the top collegiate, professional and high school linebacker. Semifinalists will be named Oct. 22, finalists Nov. 20 and winners announced on or before Dec. 4.

Tate was up for a number of national honors last season and averaged 8.8 tackles in four games before suffering a season-ending knee injury that caused him to miss most of the year. As a junior in 2010, he was a first team All-ACC selection and a second team All-America choice by College Football News.

In 40 career games, Tate has 197 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions and five sacks. He is one of five players from the Atlantic Coast Conference to make the list.

The Lombardi Award is open to all down linemen on offense or defense, or a linebacker setting up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. Vellano, who was named to the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronco Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy last week, is one of 145 candidates for the Lombardi Award.