Birthday: November 17, 1981
Strengths: With so many highlight reel plays to his credit, Nathan Vasher’s “ESPN3” nickname is certainly appropriate, but maybe less so than his choice of a favorite superhero, The Flash. Vasher has been playing Catch Me If You Can with the rest of college football, and now he’s ready to flash his skills in the NFL.
Moving to strong safety as a sophomore, allowing coaches to keep him on the field with established corners Quentin Jammer and Rod Babers, Vasher set a school record with seven interceptions during the regular season and added an eighth for good measure in the Holiday Bowl. After returning to his rightful position of cornerback in 2002, Vasher continued to develop his skills as an accomplished cover man. His interception last year inside the one-yard line against Nebraska with ten seconds to play preserved the three-point win.
Vasher separates himself from other college corners with his terrific ball skills and sound technique as an open field tackler. This year, he assumes the prime spot at left corner for the Longhorns and will continue to cut his teeth in practice every day against the likes of Roy Williams and B.J. Johnson.
For all his ability as a cornerback, Vasher is perhaps better known nationally as an explosive punt returner, consistently giving the Longhorns excellent field position with his nearly 15 yards per return average. He has twice broken the school record for punt return yards in a single game.
Areas for Concern: Vasher lacks prototypical size, but his measurements match closely with the top pick at corner in the 2003 draft, Terence Newman, so it may not hurt his draft status too much. He also struggled through a nagging ankle injury last year that caused him to miss two games and slow him down in a few others.
For a corner who relies on his quickness, the injury proved how much one can limit what Vasher is capable of doing on a football field if he is not 100 percent. His dominant play in this spring’s practices, returning a few punts for touchdowns, makes it appear as though his ankle is fully healed, but one has to wonder how much his work on special teams wears down his long-term ability as a defensive back.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? A double threat like Vasher could be a treasured weapon for the Texans. Having a corner who has proven himself as a punt returner is something to which current Texan Aaron Glenn can relate.
Vasher is also an all-around good guy. He enjoys mentoring children, and he aspires to someday to coach high school football team. Born in Wichita Falls and raised in Texarkana, playing for the Texans would keep him that much closer to home.
(profile written by Keith Weiland
Nathan Vasher’s 2002 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 11 33 15 4 0 1
Nathan Vasher Return to The War Room
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