Chase Vasser took no pleasure in seeing Montez Robinson get in trouble and eventually kicked off the team - none whatsoever.
While it's true Robinson's exit likely means more opportunity for the redshirt freshman at outside linebacker, Vasser said he's not making any assumptions and will work harder than ever to ensure his future role.
"I'm not looking at this is an opportunity at all," Vasser said. "I feel terrible for what happened to my buddy, a teammate of mine. I really hate. That said, I know I've still got a job to do and that job is to get better and help this team any way that I can."
It's been a difficult year for the Gainesville native, who injured his shoulder during a November scooter accident before suffering another setback the third week of spring drills when he pulled a hamstring.
The injury kept Vasser from practicing until the final week of spring camp. But with G-Day now completed, Vasser said recently he's looking forward to summer workouts with a renewed sense of enthusiasm, confident that his recent run of bad luck is now history.
He's already adding back the pounds he lost while recovering from his scooter injury.
Listed at 215 pounds in Georgia's spring football media guide, Vasser said his actual weight is now 224, just six pounds short of the 230 he expects to weigh by the start of preseason camp.
"That's my main thing right now; just get stronger, get my legs stronger and get my speed up," said Vasser, who this spring backed up starter Cornelius Washington at Sam.
"That's where I'm at right now, but Coach (Todd) Grantham wants me to learn both, just in case somebody is out," he said. "I'm having fun."
Ironically, Vasser started out as an inside linebacker but shortly before spring drills was moved to the outside, where he's worked alongside Washington, Justin Houston, Reuben Faloughi and position newcomer Darryl Gamble.
Like all members of Georgia's defense, adjustments had to be made.
Unlike many of his teammates, Vasser has experience in the 3-4, which is the defense he played in while at Chestatee High.
However, Vasser was an inside linebacker in high school. Playing outside linebacker in the 3-4 is a different animal, especially when you're asked to play with your hand on the ground.
"It's kind of difficult, especially when you're 224 and the guy in front of you is 330," he laughed. "But that's where I try to use my speed. I know that I'm faster than the man in front of me. I'm just going to look at the ball. I talk to (Houston), (Demarcus) Dobbs, Cornelius, everybody who's ever played D-end and they've helped me with how to line up."
Dropping back into coverage against a tight end or running back is also something new.
"Coach Grantham is always telling us the things we need to look for, what to read," Vasser said. "It doesn't matter if you drop back perfectly or not, he just wants you to make sure you do your job right. But I watch D.G. (Gamble), (Marcus) Dowtin and (Akeem) Dent. I feel they're the best drop back guys here. I watch them a lot to see how they open their hits, shuffle and all that stuff."
Although his injury kept Vasser off the field for much of the spring, he hopes he was still able to make a favorable impression on Grantham.
He hopes to continue doing so this fall.
"I didn't get as many plays as I wanted, but the plays I did I think I did correctly," said Vasser, who made a pair of tackles during last Saturday's G-Day game. "I just need to keep improving."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial