October 3, 2012

Vasser coming through

Linebacker Chase Vasser continues to prove to Georgia coaches that he's a man of his word.

Following his arrest over the summer for DUI, Vasser vowed that he would make up for all the disappointment, and once he returned from his two-game suspension, would prove his worth on the field.

So far, that's just what he's done, having taken over the starting role at Sam linebacker opposite Jarvis Jones at Will.

"I told the coaches I was going to get right," Vasser said after practice Wednesday. "I've put a lot of hard work in the off-season, trying to do a better job of setting the edge but the main thing I really wanted to work on how fast I was able to get off of the ball."

So far, so good:

In three games, Vasser has totaled 13 tackles, including 3.5 for losses of 10 yards. His five quarterback pressures are tied for third-most of the team.

Vasser credits a summer with his mentor, Chestahee High defensive coordinator Matt Mays, as the reason for giving him the edge he feels he currently last.

"I worked out with a weighted vest (45 pounds) and he made me pull sleds with it on," Vasser said. "Everybody's pulling 90 pounds of weight and I had 45 pounds added on, but I just wanted to beat everybody. It sucked badly because it was 95 degree weather at 2 p.m., but I knew it was going to pay off in the end."

Herrera shrugs off starting role

On Tuesday, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham announced that Amarlo Herrera would be taking over the starting role at Mike linebacker for Saturday's game at South Carolina.

Wednesday, Herrera shrugged off the promotion as no big deal.

"It's good, but we're all going to play in the rotation, so it's really not a big deal," said Herrera, who leads Georgia in tackles with 36 and has a 35-yard interception return.

He does, however, hope to feel a little more comfortable than he did against Tennessee as it marked the first time he had ever played the position in an actual game.

"The first couple of plays I wasn't comfortable," Herrera said. "But I'm a lot better now."

Is Jones still feeling his strained groin?

Head coach Mark Richt said he wouldn't be surprised if star linebacker Jarvis Jones is still feeling some effect of the strained groin he suffered prior to the Bulldogs' game at Missouri.

"I don't know if he would say that it's bothering him, but I've got a feeling it's probably not 100 percent right now," Richt said. "He's not going to sit there and make an excuse, but I'm not sure if he's 100 percent."

Jones has not missed practice time, nor has he been limited in any of the defensive drills.

"There's a different speed than practice and a game so we'll have to see," Richt said. "No matter how hard you go in practice you can't simulate the adrenalin that you get in a game and that kind of cures a lot of things.

Quotable

"I don't think Murray is in need of any kind of signature victory to validate the type of player he is. I think some quarterback, early in their career, somewhere along the way that his teammates need to have faith that this guy can do it. Sometimes is happens to a kid real early in his career. I think Murray's way past that. Would he like to have a championship under his belt here before leaves Georgia, I'm sure he would because that would mean everybody is doing well. But when I think of a signature victory, I think in terms of a victory that validates him as the leader and the guy that can be depended on. I think he's already done that." - Mark Richt on if quarterback Aaron Murray needed to beat South Carolina to have a signature win.

This and that

Richt said he hasn't given up on offensive lineman Kolton Houston playing for the Bulldogs again. "No, I don't think we will ever give up on it. I think that there' always a chance that something good can happen," Richt said. "He will continue to test and if it ever zeros out or whatever that threshold is gets there, I think the NCAA will let him play. I think he still wants to play, so we will see what happens." Houston is unable to play for the Bulldogs due to the presence of a banned substance that has been in his system since 2010. Along with Michael Bennett (ACL), backup cornerback Luis Capella (right shoulder sprain) joined running back Brandon Harton (thumb) and tight end Cole Trolinger (concussion) on the post-practice injury report … The Bulldogs lead the SEC in scoring at 48.2 points a game while the Gamecocks rank second in scoring defense at just 11.2 points a game. Georgia has scored 32touchdowns this season while the Gamecocks have surrendered just five. South Carolina's offense is averaging 36.6 points a game, which ranks sixth in the league.