Help has arrived for the Texas Longhorns at the strongside defensive end position vacated by Cedric Reed, as Navarro College transfer Quincy Vasser arrived in Austin on Monday afternoon.
I'll be in ATX on monday! #HornsUp— Lourde-Quincy Vasser (@LQVasser) January 10, 2015
Just landed in Dallas, next stop Austin!— Lourde-Quincy Vasser (@LQVasser) January 12, 2015
WASSUP ATX I'M HOME!— Lourde-Quincy Vasser (@LQVasser) January 12, 2015
Vasser will be one of the first of seven early enrollees to arrive in Austin throughout the week and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Pledged to Georgia since the middle of April, the 6'4, 260-pound strongside defensive end took a visit to Austin in late November and told 247Sports days before his pledge that he was "75 percent sure" that he would flip his commitment to Longhorns.
On December 3, Vasser made it official, then signed his National Letter of Intent on Signing Day junior college prospects set to enroll during the spring:
Originally from New York, Vasser was a member of the 2012 class coming out of high school, which means that he is a year older than most junior college prospects. After failing to qualify, he attended Hargrave Military Academy for a season before ending up in Texas at Navarro.
Now considered a consensus three-star prospect rated at 88 by 247Sports, Vasser is the No. 3 strongside defensive end in the JUCO ranks, the No. 5 junior college player in Texas, and the No. 38 junior college player nationally according to the same service. The Composite rankings have him a bit lower.
The commitment to Georgia back in the spring has likely reduced his offer list -- his only other offer is from Kentucky -- but he is a critical piece to a 2015 class that didn't have another strongside defensive end in it and lacked in-state options overall.
With Cedric Reed graduating, the Horns need an instant-impact player since after taking only one defensive end in the 2014 class and missing on the position in 2013, though redshirt freshman Naashon Hughes has moved into the hybrid Fox role.
Vasser has a nice blend of qualities that should help him play early with the benefit of spring practice. He played some as a 3-4 defensive end for Navarro, so he already has experience playing in the same position that Reed has in recent weeks as Texas has predominantly gone with a three-man line.
Strong at the point of attack, Vasser should become the first true strongside defensive end take for Texas since Reed -- sophomore Hassan Ridgeway quickly grew into a defensive tackle, while redshirting freshman Jake McMillon moved to defensive tackle and then offensive guard within the first several months of his Longhorns career.
Since he has had an extra year of development to turn a 225-pound frame into a 260-pound frame, he will essentially have the physical maturity of a fourth-year senior when he takes the field for the Longhorns against the Fighting Irish in the fall.
There's not much evidence that Vasser is going to provide much as a speed pass rusher from any outside alignments, but there are other players who can provide that for the Longhorns next season. What those other defensive ends can't provide is Vasser's run-stopping ability, as he can play heads up on opponents and is even more tough to deal with when he slants or jumps gaps.
However, as a freshman Vasser did have a few more opportunities to showcase some quickness off the ball, using inside moves to get to the quarterback several times and looping outside once to create pressure -- he's not going to be a pure speed guy for the Longhorns, but he's a good enough athlete to deserve that near four-star ranking from 247Sports.
Getting Vasser on campus for spring practice will ensure that he's ready to contribute at a high level for Texas when the 2015 season starts in South Bend.