Name: Joey Velazquez
Weight: 225 lbs.
High school: Columbus (OH) St. Frances DeSales
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #29
Last year: I ranked Velazquez #49 and said he would be a backup linebacker and special teamer (LINK). He made 6 tackles.
TTB Rating: 82
Velazquez has spent the last four years pulling double duty as a football player and baseball player. During the football season last fall, he played linebacker in five blowout games, but was mostly a special teams player. This happened despite the fact that Nikhai Hill-Green was injured and Kalel Mullings was spending time at running back. Former linebackers coach George Helow inserted freshman Jimmy Rolder over Velazquez, which shows where the baseballer fits in the pecking order.
Baseball has been a little more promising as far as playing time goes. Velazquez started 38 games this spring and hit .245 with 4 homeruns and 22 runs batted in.
I’m expecting more of the same on the gridiron this fall, though. Velazquez continues to lag behind others in the hunt for playing time, and things didn’t get much easier with the transfer in of Nebraska linebacker Ernest Hausmann. Velazquez will likely continue to be behind Junior Colson, Rolder, and Michael Barrett, along with newcomer Hausmann. So at best he’s the fifth inside linebacker on the roster. But he is a solid special teams player, so we should see him on the field pretty regularly from week to week.
Prediction: Backup linebacker and special teamer
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