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Fernando Velasco
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Velasco with the Buffalo Bills in 2016
Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-02-22) February 22, 1985 (age 34)
Place of birth: Harris, New York
Career information
College: Georgia
Undrafted in 2008
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Tennessee Titans ( 2008 2012)
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SEC (2007)
Career NFL statistics as of 2015
Games played     83
Games started     38
Fumble recoveries     1
Stats at NFL.com

Fernando Velasco (born February 22, 1985) is an American football center who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and also played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills. He played college football at Georgia.

High school careerEdit

Velasco played offensive tackle for Jefferson County High School in Louisville, Georgia. During this time, he was a starter for all four years and was ranked in Rivals Top 75 Offensive Tackles in the Nation and Top 25 Offensive Tackles in Georgia. He was voted Class AAA First Team All-State by Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Georgia Sportswriter Association.[1]

College careerEdit

2003 seasonEdit

After graduating from Jefferson County High School, Velasco chose to attend Georgia. As a freshman his role was a back up offensive lineman for the majority of the season. He did receive the Georgia Football Team's Iron Man Award for his dedication, and showing up to every practice on time.

2004 seasonEdit

After having a solid spring practice, Velasco was the number 2 split guard on the roster. He finally received his first career start against Vanderbilt. For the rest of his sophomore season he received playing time as a key back up lineman. He again was awarded the team's Ironman Award for the 2004 season.

2005 seasonEdit

During his junior year, Velasco was redshirted. Georgia also finally awarded Velasco with the Joseph F. Espy scholarship.

2006 season Edit

Velasco was voted the team's most improved player. After showing improvement he was the number 1 split guard on the Bulldog's football team. He graduated with a diploma in Health and Physical Education. [2]

Professional careerEdit

Tennessee TitansEdit

After declaring for the 2008 NFL Draft, Velasco was thought to possibly be a 6-7th round pick. After going undrafted he was signed by the Tennessee Titans and wore number 61. He only played in one game for the 2009 season.

During the 2010 season, Velasco played left guard and center in all 16 games, starting 3 of them. He had his first career start on October 10 in a 34-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys. For the 2011 season he didn't start any regular season games but played in all of them. In 2012, he would have a breakout year starting for the Titans at left guard and center for every regular season contest. He was ranked the 11th best center for the 2012 season. [3]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

After becoming a free agent after the 2012 season, he remained on the free agent market until Maurkice Pouncey of the Pittsburgh Steelers went down with a torn ACL in Week 1 of the regular season. After coming in and replacing Pouncey at Center, Velasco went down with an achilles tendon injury during a Thursday Night Football game against the Baltimore Ravens. He would be placed on injured reserved, being another lineman lost for the injury plagued Steelers 2013 season. He recorded 11 starts for the team that season and would become a free agent at the end of the season.[4]

Carolina PanthersEdit

In July 2014, the Carolina Panthers announced the signing of Fernando Velasco. He would finally return to wearing his college number of 75 and would play Guard for the Panthers. Velasco would play both left guard and right guard for the Panthers, starting 7 games and playing in 13.[5]

Tennessee TitansEdit

On June 9, 2015, the Tennessee Titans signed Fernando Velasco, reuniting him with his original team. He was signed after the Titans drafted quarterback Marcus Mariota and after a horrible 2014 season by Brian Schwenke. Schwenke ranked 32nd among all centers in the NFL. The Titans brought in the five-year veteran to compete for the starting center job and protect the rookie quarterback. [6] On August 30, 2015, it was reported that Velasco had been one of ten players waived from the team.

Carolina Panthers (second stint)Edit

On September 17, 2015, Velasco was signed by the Carolina Panthers to play center and back up their four-time Pro Bowl center, Ryan Kalil. After an ankle injury to Kalil, Velasco would start the Week 8 contest against the Indianapolis Colts.[7]

On February 7, 2016, Velasco was part of the Panthers team that played in Super Bowl 50. In the game, the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos by a score of 24–10.[8]

Buffalo BillsEdit

On April 7, 2016, Velasco signed with the Buffalo Bills. On September 2, 2016, he was released by the Bills as part of final roster cuts.[9]

Coaching careerEdit

University of GeorgiaEdit

On June 2, 2017, Velasco was hired as Player Relations Coordinator for the University of Georgia.[10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Georgia Student Bio: Fernando Velasco". http://m.georgiadogs.com/m/sports/m-footbl/mtt/fernando_velasco_133578.html.
  2. "Georgia Student Bio: Fernando Velasco". http://m.georgiadogs.com/m/sports/m-footbl/mtt/fernando_velasco_133578.html.
  3. "Player Bio: Fernando Velasco". http://m.pfref.com/m?p=XXplayersXXVXXVelaFe20.htm.
  4. "Steelers place C Fernando Velasco on IR". http://mobile.sportingnews.com/article/4546256-steelers-put-c-fernando-velasco-in-injured-reserve-reload-line-depth.
  5. "Panthers Sign Offensive Lineman Fernando Velasco and Kevin Matthews". http://blackandbluereview.com/velasco-signing/.
  6. "Titans Sign Veteran Center Fernando Velasco". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000496167/article/titans-sign-veteran-center-fernando-velasco.
  7. Gantt, Darin (September 17, 2015). "Panthers add some offensive line depth with Fernando Velasco". http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/09/17/panthers-add-some-offensive-line-depth-with-fernando-velasco/. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  8. "Super Bowl 50 - Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers - February 7th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201602070den.htm. Retrieved September 2, 2017.
  9. Brown, Chris (September 2, 2016). "Vets Felton and Lawson headline Bills cut to 53". https://www.buffalobills.com/news/vets-felton-and-lawson-headline-bills-cut-to-53-17612870.
  10. http://www.macon.com/sports/college/university-of-georgia/bulldogs-beat/uga-football/article154071184.html

External linksEdit

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