September 22, 2012

Vasser playing big

It isn't easy to stand out when you play opposite of an All American linebacker that is being mentioned by some pundits as a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Just about any player in the country would have to play "the other linebacker" position opposite of Georgia's Jarvis Jones.

Junior Chase Vasser knows the feeling, and he spent all summer working to shed a title that had been given to him by those who cover UGA.

"This whole offseason I worked to take my game to the next level and get better. I wanted to be known as more than I role player," said Vasser. "I wanted to be an impact player and the type of player that teams schemed around like Jarvis, John (Jenkins), Bacarri (Rambo). I wanted to be the guy that makes big plays and changes the game."

So what did the summer entail for the Gainsville native?

According to Vasser, it was all about getting in better shape and becoming a more complete player.

"I worked really hard this off season on my get off and my pass rush. I worked on my pass rushing moves and stuff like that. I felt like I was a good run stuffer and edge setter, but I didn't feel like I rushed the passer as well as I needed to," he said. "So this summer I spent a lot of time wearing a weighted vest when I trained and worked on my get off. I would wear the weighted vest and pull a sled with two 45-pound weights and work on those short quick bursts.

On Saturday, Vasser's offseason work seemed to play huge dividends as he finished the Georgia's 48-3 defeat of Vanderbilt with multiple quarterback pressures and one crushing hit on Commodore signal caller Jordan Rodgers.

Although his second solid performance in as many weeks grabbed the attention of man in Bulldog Nation, the Chestatee High School product still knows he has plenty areas in which he can improve.

"I know I need to work harder on wrapping up. I missed a few tackles tonight," said Vasser." I just need to run my feet a little longer and not get down so quick."

Up until last week, Vasser's had been mainly mentioned as one of four Georgia starters that had missed the first two games of the year.

Vasser was serving a two game suspension due to DUI conviction in the Spring, but he believes that sitting out and watching his teammates compete helped him learn a valuable lesson and made him a hungrier player in general.

"It absolutely made me hungrier to have to sit out," said Vasser. "I knew we would definitely have a good defense without me, and this was going to be my junior year. It was supposed to be a great year for me. I didn't want to give the season a way and I had worked so hard in the off-season to get better. I definitely wanted it more when I got back."

In the two games since his return, Vasser has recorded 11 total tackles, 2.5 for a loss, and a forced fumble, but he isn't taking any time to dwell on what has gone right the last two weeks.

Tennessee comes to down on Saturday, and he is already looking forward to the next challenge.

"Preparation starts tomorrow," he said. "We have to get ready. We have to get in the ice tub and get healthy so we can play fast. We just want to go out there an execute like we did this week."

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