March 28, 2007

Velasco adapts to changes

When he first got wind of the idea, Fernando Velasco wasn't thrilled about redshirting as a junior. In the end, however, it paid off big time for the senior from Wrens, Ga., as he started every game last season at guard, and now is perhaps Georgia's top offensive lineman and a team leader.

"I am working on that every day," Velasco said of the leadership responsibilities. "With my personality, I am not a rah-rah kind of guy, but I am adjusting to that a little bit. It is a change, but I am working hard at it every day."

Like Nick Jones before him, Velasco made the move from guard to center, and now anchors the line amidst a lot of inexperienced or first year players. Only tackle Chester Adams has significant playing time, and he is the only other returning starter. Three of the five starting linemen have never been between the hedges on game day, and one has never even been to Sanford Stadium on game day.

"We are starting to gel," said Velasco. "There are a lot of ups and a lot of downs, but I am proud of all the young guys, the midyear guys, the freshmen, the redshirt freshmen; everybody is doing a good job."

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