Six days remain until Georgia kicks off its season opener against Buffalo on Saturday. In the days counting down to the opener, DawgNation will profile, with our “Around the Hedges in 80 Days” series, a Bulldogs player we expect to make an impact. We will review each player’s career thus far and project his long-term potential as we progress through our alphabetical list, from center David Andrews to receiver Rantavious Wooten.
6. Chase Vasser
Junior, Outside linebacker
6-foot-3, 231 pounds
Fall forecast: Although he is suspended for the first two games, Vasser appears ready to play a key role at the outside linebacker spot opposite Jarvis Jones this fall. After Cornelius Washington shifted to playing defensive end predominantly, Vasser moved onto the first-team defense and has remained there throughout the spring and preseason. He’ll share time with a number of teammates at OLB, but Vasser apparently will be a key contributor.
Career highlight: Vasser appeared in the starting lineup for the first time against South Carolina last fall and recorded what was then a career-high three tackles. He would start two weeks later against Ole Miss and again against Tennessee, against whom he notched 1.5 tackles for loss.
Experience thus far: Vasser played in 12 games and started three last fall, when he recorded his first significant total of scrimmage downs.
Possible career impact: It will be interesting to see whether Vasser can hold onto a starting spot over the next two seasons. Georgia’s coaches have no shortage of options at outside linebacker and Vasser’s competition will grow even tougher if Josh Harvey-Clemons adds weight and moves to linebacker next season. Either way, Vasser will probably receive plenty of playing time, but he needs to make full use of his opportunity now while the freshmen are still learning if he wants to remain in the starting lineup.