Oct. 30, 2012
ATHENS --- Chase Vasser doesn't look like the prototypical Southeastern Conference outside linebacker. With his long hair and weighing only 231 pounds, Vasser more resembles an action hero from a movie he one day hopes to star in. While he may not look the part, the Gainesville, Ga., native is constantly striving to play an even bigger part in the Georgia defense.
"Hopefully all my hard work in the offseason is paying off and the coaches see it," Vasser said. "I want to contribute more than I did last year. I want to get out of being a role player and be more of an impact player. I feel like I've worked too hard. I wanted to get myself further from that title and I'm slowly but surely achieving it."
After missing the first two games of the season, Vasser has appeared in all five games since, including two starts. In those five contests the redshirt junior has recorded 19 tackles, four of those for a loss. He attributed his success to work he did before the season began.
"I focused a lot on my technique and my footwork because, when they're trying to block me, I don't want to jump inside then go outside. I want to be immediately outside," Vasser said. "So I worked on my technique and the strength in my lower legs."
While experiencing a jump in statistics from last season when he recorded 19 tackles and 4 tackles for loss, Vasser doesn't believe that statistics should be the only indicator of his performance. He instead focused on winning the strategy game, which includes helping his teammates make plays.
As one of the smaller members of Georgia's large defense, Vasser said he has to find different ways to be successful. This has included taking advice from a recent Bulldog defender on how best to use his body type.
"The best advice I ever got was from Justin Houston. He said `you're not one of those guys that's 6'3, 250, you're one of those guys that's 6'3, 215 so use your size,'" Vasser said. "Then Coach Garner got with me and told me to learn how to dip your shoulder and get underneath these guys that are 6'5 or 6'7 and are 350 pounds. He said use my speed and my size so I can get around them, and I have."
While in his fourth year with the Bulldogs after redshirting his freshman season, Vasser said he still has a lot to learn. He said that other players on the defensive side of the ball helped with that learning process.
"It's always a learning experience. If I'm not on the field, I'm watching those guys out there how they're playing every down," Vasser said. "Especially Jarvis (Jones), Shawn (Williams), (Bacarri) Rambo, `Tree (Alec Ogletree) trying to see how they're