Georgia Bulldogs Chase Vasser Could Be A Sleeper on This Year's Defense
Chase Vasser has yet to hit the field for any snaps, but with the defense making it’s well-publicized switch to the 3-4 this coming season and Rennie Curran making his exit to the NFL, this talented linebacking prospect could find his way onto the field a lot more this season.
In his last two years at Chestatee High School in Gainesville, Ga., Vasser racked up 279 tackles, including 45 tackles for loss, as well as 17 sacks. He once was quoted as saying that he tries to model his game after Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher—two of the fiercest linebackers in the NFL today.
His goal is simple: he likes to attack and he likes to attack hard.
He goes for the bruising hits and wants to leave a message every time he knocks a ball carrier off his feet. It’s an attitude that any fan of the ‘GATA’ ("get after them aggressively" or "get after their you-know-whats" ideology that ruled the "Junkyard Dawg" era) can definitely appreciate.
So far this spring, Vasser has taken snaps at the OLB spot and will be competing with Justin Houston, Cornelius Washington, Christian Robinson, and Richard Samuel for reps.
Coach Grantham is still evaluating each guy as the spring progresses and if Vasser is going to make strides, he will need to use that hard-nosed attitude to show he’s got the goods as much as anybody else on the roster.
What he can bring to the game physically is easy enough to spot. He’s 6’3”, 220 pounds, and quick off the snap. That will help him stay in the conversation; but it doesn’t guarantee him anything since his counterparts can basically boast the same stats.
That said, only he and Christian Robinson have recent experience playing the outside linebacker position.
Both Justin Houston and Cornelius Washington will be making the transition from the defensive line, while Richard Samuel will be migrating back to the linebacker spot for the first time in over two years.
Will the transitions be difficult to make?
It’s hard to say. The 3-4 has nuances that can be difficult to pick up and, when you factor in a position change along with that, there could be some growing pains for the other guys who are looking to get in the game early too.
If either Vasser or Robinson show a better understanding of their position responsibilities quicker than their counterparts, they could make some noise early in the year. It’s definitely a battle worthy of keeping tabs on this spring—particularly with G-Day looming.
Vasser is quick, talented, and a beast in the weight room. He has the ability to be special on the field and could be in line for a breakout season if he performs well this spring.
His redshirt season was tough because he wanted to play as badly as anybody else, but instead of sulking on the sidelines, he spent time learning what his responsibility as a linebacker would be and soaked in the knowledge that other teammates had to offer him—most notably Rennie Curran.
If he proves to have even half the moxie and talent that many felt he would have coming out of high school in 2009, then he will definitely be bringing the fire to the field in 2010.
His feelings for what he wants to bring to Georgia were documented in 2009: "I want to have the top-ranked defense in the country all four or five years I'm at Georgia".
That's a goal I can definitely get behind—GATA!
*Photo Courtesy of AccessNorthGeorgia
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