Notebook: Georgia confirms Chase Vasser’s May DUI arrest

ATHENS — Georgia had more offseason troubles than we originally thought.

Vasser

Vasser

Chase Vasser, a junior outside linebacker from Gainesville, was arrested for driving under the influence back in May in Atlanta, Georgia officials confirmed on Thursday. The 21-year-old projected starter has been suspended for the first two games of the season as per UGA’s student-athlete conduct code, team spokesman Claude Felton confirmed late Thursday evening.

No other information was immediately available on Vasser’s arrest, which occurred May 11 in Buckhead. However, the Athens Banner-Herald reports that Vasser has a scheduled court appearance on Aug. 21 at the City of Atlanta Municipal Court.

The suspension of Vasser, who is 21, makes him at least the fourth defensive starter expected to miss playing time for the Bulldogs this season. Cornerback Sanders Commings is already suspended two games for a January arrest on domestic violence charges. Cornerback Branden Smith, safety Bacarri Rambo and inside linebacker Alec Ogletree are also facing suspensions for team rules violations but Georgia has not announced their punishments.

Meanwhile, four other Georgia players have been dismissed since the end of last season. Starting tailback Isaiah Crowell was arrested on June 29 on three weapons charges and kicked off the team that same day. Defensive backs Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders and wide receiver Sanford Seay were dismissed in early February for their involvement in the theft of a teammates’ dorm room.

Dogs ranked No. 6 by coaches

Despite all the offseason troubles, there continues to be high expectations for the Bulldogs this season. Georgia was ranked No. 6 by college coaches in the USA Today preseason poll released on Thursday.

“We’re not worried about it,” junior quarterback Aaron Murray said. “Last year we ignored the negativity and all the bad talk about Georgia and this year we’re going to ignore all the positive stuff. We’re just going to focus on what we need to do, and that’s work hard, show up to practice every day with the right attitude, get in the film room, get in the weight room and do a lot of little things to make sure we have a successful season.”

Sixth is the school’s highest preseason ranking since it opened the 2008 season ranked No. 1. The Bulldogs actually dropped to No. 3 without losing a game the first four weeks that year, then fell to 11th after losing to Alabama 41-30 in the infamous “blackout game.” They finished 10-3 after a win in the Capital One Bowl.

LSU and Alabama, who played in the national championship last season, were ranked 1 and 2, respectively second and Southern California third. Oklahoma and Oregon round out the top five.

Dawg talk

Thursday was preseason media day for the Bulldogs, so selected players were made available for interviews before practice. Here’s some of their comments:

Sophomore Malcolm Mitchell on playing both cornerback and wide receiver:

“At first it was just something I wanted to do to expand my game, but now it’s become a necessity. But it’s something I look forward to doing to help the team until we can regroup and get everybody back here. . . . It’s fun and I like doing them both. You just have to push yourself.”

Senior tailback Richard Samuel on third position change:

“I feel like switching between running back and linebacker slowed down my development because I didn’t have much time to get used to the linebacker position. Switching between fullback and running back hasn’t slowed my down too much because it’s basically the same plays and I just have to learn the little differences.”

All-America outside linebacker Jarvis Jones on expectations:

“We know what we’re capable of. We had a lot of hype last year, and we had a great run. This year, we know that people are expecting us to be way better. We’re just going to take it all in stride. We’re going to go out there everyday and make it our best, practice at our best, and then try to take it from there. Everything starts in practice so we’re just going to go through these days in camp and have fun doing it to try to get out everything we can before September 1.”

Senior strong safety Shawn Williams on playing for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham:

“One thing that I’ve picked up from him is to be accountable and to know your stuff. That proves how valuable you are in the system that we run. Having him here is like a blessing to us, and his mindset that he brings to the table helps us a lot.”

Freshman numbers

It’s always interesting to see what numbers first-year players will get as they embark on Georgia careers. Defensive back Sheldon  Dawson of Memphis snapped up the No. 2 previously worn by Brandon Boykin, wide receiver Blake Tibbs snatched the No. 8 once donned by A.J. Green and place-kicker Marshall Morgan got the lucky No. 13 that punter Drew Butler had the last four years.

Other jersey numbers claimed by incoming freshmen who weren’t midyear enrollees include: Punter Collin Barber (32), linebacker Josh Dawson (91), linebacker James DeLoach (89), tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith (80), tailback Todd Gurley (3), linebacker/safety Josh Harvey-Clemons (25), fullback Quayvon Hicks (48), linebacker Jordan Jenkins (59), offensive lineman Greg Pyke (73), defensive lineman John Taylor (94) and offensive lineman John Theus (71).

Scene and heard

The Bulldogs practiced for two hours in their first of 28 preseason workouts… . The first-string offensive line lined up this way: left tackle Kenarious Gates, left guard Dallas Lee, center David Andrews, right guard Chris Burnette and right tackle Watts Dantzler… . Highly-touted freshman Josh Harvey-Clemons was wearing the No. 25 and was working with the safeties.

MORE FOOTBALL

160 comments Add your comment

William

August 2nd, 2012
9:13 pm

Too bad for Vasser

ColumbiaDawg

August 2nd, 2012
9:14 pm

The biggest problem this team is not being to get out of its own way.

derekross

August 2nd, 2012
9:24 pm

These kids aren’t doing anything any other student athlete in the SEC is doing. They are just getting caught.

Dawg Haus

August 2nd, 2012
9:27 pm

At least Vasser isn’t an offensive lineman.

RichRed

August 2nd, 2012
9:35 pm

Seems to me that if the coaches are not disciplined, then the players are not disciplined. End of story.

Thinkalittle

August 2nd, 2012
9:36 pm

Should be common knowledge now for the athletes in Athens……… If your going to drink, smoke, or carry a gun, stay OUT OF A FREAK’N CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heart of the Dawg

August 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

This is to all the UGA Football players… Get your act together and start living up to the expectations or else you are your off field failures are going to add up to on field disasters. Your selfishness and lack of self control is going to cause a great man and football coach to loose his job after you jack legs blow it this year. You’ll always regret it and you’ll never forget it!

Your Fans!

kingdaddy

August 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

JHC is going to be an awesome saftey. I though Vasser got popped last night or something. Geez-Louise, will this football season ever get here???

Tdawg

August 2nd, 2012
9:42 pm

Geez, this football season can’t get here soon enough. If it don’t get here a little quicker then at this rate the dawgs won’t even have a defense. I never knew that it was humanly possible for one team to have so many damn idiot’s.

Gene

August 2nd, 2012
9:44 pm

Bring bad Thursday night bowling.

ToeMeetsLeather

August 2nd, 2012
9:44 pm

As a TECH fan I was going to make some smart*** comment about that list of offenses during the offseason. But on second thought, I just feel sorry for Coach Richt that he has to recruit these type guys to keep his job.

Tan Farkenten

August 2nd, 2012
9:50 pm

Is it me, or do the Dogs need a curfew???

GtDawg

August 2nd, 2012
10:11 pm

Jordan Jenkins was gonna win the starting job sometime during the season anyway. Chase you just bumped the dates up. All is well.

jocrazy

August 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

im sorry peole but if u didnt do something dumb when u were young and bulletproof thats your fault look around at other students some get caught some not but u learn from making bad mistakes its not coaches fault

Big Crimson 75

August 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

So much for the we don’t cover any of our arrests non-sense.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2012
10:16 pm

So much for the “he’d be suspended even one play for this” at Bama argument.

AltamahaDawg

August 2nd, 2012
10:26 pm

dawg fans, the thing to remember. None of this puts the team in a situation that is any different today, than last week. The team, the coaches, have all known this suspoension was coming and factored it in long ago. Fans getting just tuned in does not change a thing.

The Houston situation has 2 yearsbeen widely known forever. Websites have been openly mentioning his PED issue for 6 months. Richt as much as said a month ago it was not good news, yet. The team is not just getting blindsided by this.

GtDawg

August 2nd, 2012
10:26 pm

JHC at 6′5 move to Safety is gonna be huge going up against Missouri’s Dorial Green Beckham 6′6.
But Grantham already knew that.

urban redneck

August 2nd, 2012
10:28 pm

wonder if he scratched the serial numbers off them beers.

Kyle

August 2nd, 2012
10:39 pm

I’m stunned nobody’s directly blamed Mark Richt for Vasser being an idiot. Will these kids ever learn? Really getting old

kennesaw gator

August 2nd, 2012
10:39 pm

I don’t really see the point in all this news coverage for a bottom tier SEC East team. Let’s see some stories on the consequential teams.

Kyle

August 2nd, 2012
10:42 pm

Btw, ToeMeetsLeather…regarding your comment: “I just feel sorry for Coach Richt that he has to recruit these type guys to keep his job”…how exactly do you recruit someone who might possibly be a DUI case?!? That’s everyone on any team….I know you Techies don’t party or drink much so it’s probably hard for you geeks to understand.

Moobs Johnson

August 2nd, 2012
10:42 pm

I bet Vasser doesn’t eat at Chick-fil-A now.

Kyle

August 2nd, 2012
10:44 pm

Good luck with Muschamp and a sketchy QB situation Kennesaw Gator. Looking at 8-5, maybe. The natives/JORT rednecks will get restless this year.

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

August 2nd, 2012
10:46 pm

Dawg-Gawn

August 2nd, 2012
10:47 pm

Hey media…. let’s quit worring about who is not able to play and focus more on those that will be playing! UGA has a team full of slobber knockers that can be turned loose on Buffalo & Missouri. It’s time to knock heads G Dawgs! GATA

hornblower

August 2nd, 2012
10:47 pm

Hutson Mason

Son of Sammy Davis Jr, Jr

August 2nd, 2012
10:47 pm

Spurrier was right about playing Gawja early in the season.

Tan Farkenten

August 2nd, 2012
10:51 pm

Kenne G.
If UGA is a bottom tier SECe, what does that make UFla? A bottom, bottom or lower to lowest bottom?

zoli

August 2nd, 2012
10:53 pm

Now that we have them practicing this will hopefully be the last hickup. DUI’s are given out like candy these days. JHC w/ a full head of steam–BOOM!

Dawg Gawn

August 2nd, 2012
10:55 pm

You can’t have this many suspensions to starters / projected starters and it not have an impact on the teams performance; that is a lot of experience and talent riding the pine. The Kool-Aid drinkers will explain it all away, but it WILL have an impact.The defense may eventually be among the top 5, but it won’t be in early Sept. Not trying to rain on the party…just being a realist.

Tan Farkenten

August 2nd, 2012
10:58 pm

Crybaby spurrier is already in rare form with his whining, and the season hasn’t even started yet.

Tan Farkenten

August 2nd, 2012
11:02 pm

DG
If we get through the suspensions without a loss, it will only help us with our depth. It will season some younger kids who normally wouldn’t have got to play yet.

Athens Police

August 2nd, 2012
11:04 pm

See Atlanta Police out to get dawgs too!

Buddy Garrity

August 2nd, 2012
11:15 pm

Is that Tim Riggins?

GT4Life (the Original)

August 2nd, 2012
11:16 pm

KARMA! I remember all of the dog fans coming on the Tech blog with their conspiracy theories when Daniel Drummond was suspended for BWI They all claimed that there was a sure coverup since it took months for the press to pick up the story. Like I said…Karma!

Dawg-Gawn

August 2nd, 2012
11:17 pm

TEAM, one man falls out, the # 2 man steps in… we have 3 1/2 weeks to get ready! Coach’em up Grantham… it started today! Believe in the G!

Stevie J

August 2nd, 2012
11:22 pm

If Chase Vasser were African American there is no way it would take over 2 months for this story to hit the media.

North Georgia Dawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:25 pm

Wow, another DUI… but some people need to calm down about losing Vasser. He’s certainly not a bad player, but I really don’t think he’s good enough to start against a good team. Ramik Wilson and others would have likely taken his job anyways.

Smitty

August 2nd, 2012
11:28 pm

I hope we can get though the first few weeks after that……look out

Smitty

August 2nd, 2012
11:30 pm

Georgia has a white defensive player….wow

Smitty

August 2nd, 2012
11:31 pm

excuse me Caucasian

Top Dawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:35 pm

These guys are a joke. UGA should self-impose a five year moratorium on football.

Smitty

August 2nd, 2012
11:37 pm

top dawg…you are bottom dog

North Georgia Dawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

“If Chase Vasser were African American there is no way it would take over 2 months for this story to hit the media.”

Sadly, you’re probably right. Or if Vasser was a better player than he was last year. But hey, maybe he will step it up after the suspension and play great.

Smitty

August 2nd, 2012
11:38 pm

top dawg ever had a season ticket…..that’s what I thought…

realist

August 2nd, 2012
11:40 pm

So why hasnt he been called a t**g yet?……All the other players suspended were labeled t***s immediately…..What makes him any different? Or is he just a kid who is doing what kids do? Just wondering…….

North Georgia Dawg

August 2nd, 2012
11:40 pm

Again, I’m not saying Vasser is bad but I’ve seen nothing from him so far that indicates to me that he can outplay our talented outside linebackers throughout the season.

Bama Boy

August 2nd, 2012
11:41 pm

Man they need a coach thats in control of his team!

realist

August 2nd, 2012
11:45 pm

And the AJC has a filter on that word obvisously, so I had to use characters to get it posted. And for the record, dont try and rationalize him not keeping his job anyway or him not being that good. He was good enough to earn a scholarship and good enough to start this year, so he was a good ball player. Stop making excuses for the program. This program, like many others, is out of control. They dont fear or respect the head man, nor do they seem to care about their well being or representing their families in a positive light. At some point you have to learn from your surroundings and realize your not a kid anymore, and at some point a program has to realize that their head man has no real effect on his players