On Guard

Fernando Velasco has not played since the 2004 season. The junior from Wrens, Georgia redshirted all of last season. In 2004, he earned the Iron Man Award as a player who did not miss practice or summer workout during the year. This spring, he won the Most Improved Offensive Lineman Award. Now it appears that he might be the starter this season at split guard. He talks about this and a lot more.

Dave McMahon -- How much do you weigh now?

Fernando Velasco -- I weigh about 320 pounds. I want to be around 310 pounds.

DM -- What were you when you came here?

FV -- I was at 330 at one point.

DM -- Do you think it was a good decision that you redshirted last season?

FV -- I think it was good. I practiced a lot on the scout team. I went against Kedric Golston and Gerald Anderson a lot. It made me better and it made them better.

DM -- What did you learn from sitting out last year?

FV -- Max Jean-Gilles taught me a lot. He taught me to stay focused and the specifics about what to watch on the game films.

DM -- Did you watch him play last night for the Eagles?

FV -- I watched some. I talked to him last week. We talk on a regular basis.

DM -- Who are your favorite offensive linemen in the NFL?

FV -- I don't worry about that. I care about the linemen at Georgia.

DM -- Right now it looks like you may start, how does that make you feel?

FV -- This is the first time I have come into practices as a starter. But I still have to compete everyday. Zeb McKinzey is pushing me all the time. I still have to do my best.

DM -- Are you a better run blocker or pass protector?

FV -- Right now I am a better pass protector. I am further along there, but I still need to improve in both areas.

DM -- In practice, who do you have the best one-on-one battles with in the trenches?

FV -- Me and Jeffrey Owens go at it all the time. He is so strong and quick. We always have good battles.

DM -- Thank you for your time and good luck this upcoming season.

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