| Nathan Vasher
5-11 · 180
Texarkana, Texas (Texas)
Speedy, versatile and explosive athlete who is one of the nation's top cornerbacks and punt returners ... was drafted in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears ... played in the XLI Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts ... named a 2003 Thorpe Award (nation's best defensive back) semifinalist ... unanimous first-team All-Big 12 pick as a senior ... played in 49 career contests, including bowl games, and started 39 ... posted 155 tackles, two sacks, 14 TFLs, a Big 12 record 17 interceptions (was T-No. 1 on UT's all-time list) and 64 PBUs (was No. 1 on UT's career chart) during his career ... made his 17th career interception at Texas A&M in 2003 to tie Noble Doss' 62-year-old UT record, the longest outstanding Longhorn mark ... also has returned 94 career punts for 1,314 yards (14.0 ypr) and two TDs ... 12 of his career returns have gone for at least 30 yards ... totalled 43 tackles, six interceptions (was T-No. 6 on UT's single season list), 26 pass breakups (was No. 2 on UT's single season list) and five TFLs in 2003 ... battled an ankle injury for most of the 2002 season but managed to play in 11 games and start 10 ... posted 33 tackles, four interceptions and 15 PBUs on the year and was named a second-team All-American by CNNSI.com ... ranked 19th nationally with his 14.2-yard punt return average (No. 5 on UT's single season list) ... tabbed second-team All-Big 12 at corner and third-team as a kick returner ... moved to his natural cornerback position last spring after spending the 2001 season at strong safety ... moved from cornerback to strong safety to fill a void in the secondary in the spring of '01 and started all 13 games that year ... went on to earn third-team All-America honors as a punt returner from The Sporting News ... also was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ... a second-team all-conference choice at both safety and punt returner by the league's coaches and every other publication ... posted 56 tackles and tied the UT single-season record with seven interceptions as a sophomore ... also had an interception in the Holiday Bowl ... recorded 18 pass breakups (was T-No. 7 on UT's single-season list) on the year... set a UT single-season mark with 554 punt return yards and ranked sixth nationally with his 15.0 average (was ranked No. 3 on UT's single-season chart) ... saw action in 11 games at cornerback as a true freshman in 2000, including the Holiday Bowl, and started three games as a nickel back ... played wide receiver and cornerback as a prepster ... earned a spot on UT's Athletic Director's Honor Roll his last two semesters.
Named a 2003 Thorpe Award (nation's best defensive back) semifinalist ... a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection ... shared UT's Outstanding Defensive Back honors and was voted one of four permanent team captains ... started all 13 games at cornerback and anchored a pass defense that ranked ninth in the nation (177.3 ypg) ... totalled 43 tackles, six interceptions (was T-No. 6 on UT's single season list), 26 pass breakups (was No. 2 on UT's single season list) and five tackles for loss ... ranked 13th in the nation in interceptions per game (.5) ... also returned 28 punts for 364 yards (13.0 ypg, 15th NCAA) ... recorded one tackle, a TFL and a PBU to go along with an interception against New Mexico State ... posted six stops against Arkansas ... tallied four tackles, a TFL and an interception at Rice ... added two punt returns for 73 yards in that game and received the Frank Denius Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his efforts ... returned three punts for 45 yards on a special teams while notching two stops and a PBU against Tulane ... recorded three stops and an interception against No. 16 Kansas State and returned three punts for 30 yards ... tied a season-high with six tackles and a TFL against No. 1 Oklahoma ... tallied four tackles twice (at Iowa State and at Baylor) along with an interception at Baylor ... faced off against Oklahoma State Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Rashaun Woods in man-to-man coverage and posted four pass breakups, an interception and one tackle while holding Woods to four receptions for 43 yards ... earned UT's Mike Campbell Defensive Player of the Week award for his efforts against OSU ... his four pass breakups against Texas Tech gave him 60 and moved him into first place all-time at UT, passing Quentin Jammer (57) ... made his 17th career interception at Texas A&M in 2003 to tie Noble Doss' 62-year-old UT record, the longest standing Longhorn mark ... posted three tackles and three pass breakups against No. 15 Washington State in the Holiday Bowl ... also returned one punt for 20 yards.
Played in 11 games and started 10 contests ... missed the Houston and Tulane games with an ankle injury ... earned second-team All-America honors from CNNSI.com ... a second-team All-Big 12 selection at cornerback by the league's coaches, The Associated Press and Fort Worth Star-Telegram ... also earned third-team all-conference honors at punt returner from the Big 12 coaches ... a preseason Thorpe Award candidate ... shared UT's Outstanding Defensive Back award ... tallied 33 tackles (24 solo), four TFLs, a sack, four interceptions, 15 pass breakups and a fumble recovery ... also returned 26 punts for 370 yards (No. 4 on UT's single-season chart) ... his 14.2-yard average ranked 19th nationally and fifth on the school's single-season list ... added a 39-yard kickoff return at Nebraska ... key member of a Longhorns defense that led the Big 12 and ranked eighth in the NCAA in pass defense (165.2 ypg.), second in the conference and seventh in the nation in pass efficiency defense (96.1 rtg.), third in the league and eighth in the country in scoring defense (16.3 ppg.) and third in the Big 12 and 16th nationally in total defense (307.7 ypg.) ... also helped the defense record 22 interceptions (No. 2 Big 12; T-No. 4 NCAA) ... named UT's Mike Campbell "Across the Bow" Defensive Player of the Game (vs. No. 17 Iowa State and at Nebraska) and Frank Denius Special Teams Player of the Game (vs. Baylor and vs. Texas A&M) two times ... registered a season-high eight tackles and two TFLs in the Cotton Bowl against LSU ... also had a 14-yard punt return in that contest ... posted three tackles and returned three punts for 75 yards, including one for a 60-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, against Texas A&M ... registered four solo tackles and one PBU as UT limited Baylor to 127 total yards of offense and recorded its NCAA-leading third shutout of the season ... also returned four punts for 81 yards, including a 38-yarder, against the Bears ... tallied four tackles and picked off a pair of passes, including the game-clincher with 10 seconds remaining, at Nebraska ... recorded his second interception of the season and added three solo stops and two PBUs against No. 17 Iowa State. ... racked up four tackles, including a TFL, one interception and a pair of PBUs against Oklahoma State ... posted a tackle and two PBUs as UT limited North Texas to 145 yards of total offense, including just 55 yards through the air on 6-of-20 passing (30% completion percentage) ... also returned four punts for 123 yards, including a 41-yarder, in the season-opening shutout.
Started all 13 games, including the Holiday Bowl, at strong safety ... also served as the team's punt returner ... earned third-team All-America honors from The Sporting News ... also a first-team All-Big 12 selection by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ... a second-team choice by the league's coaches and every other publication ... shared UT's Joseph W. Moore Award (for tenacity) ... recorded 56 tackles (41 solo), a UT-record-tying seven interceptions and 18 pass breakups (T-No. 6 on UT's single-season chart) ... also had one fumble recovery (at Oklahoma State) ... a three-time recipient of UT's Mike Campbell Defensive Player of the Week award ... had a career-high 12 tackles and an interception in the Big 12 Championship game against No. 9 Colorado ... had six tackles, two pass breakups, an interception and a forced fumble against No. 21 Washington in the Holiday Bowl ... posted six stops, an INT and two pass breakups at Missouri ... had five tackles and two picks as the Longhorns held Kansas to only 67 total yards (UT's best effort since 1988) ... posted five tackles and a career-high three PBUs against Texas Tech ... added five stops at Houston ... recorded four tackles, a TFL, an interception and a fumble recovery at Oklahoma State ... posted four tackles and two pass breakups at Texas A&M ... registered three stops and an interception at Baylor ... also returned 37 punts for a UT-record 554 yards and one touchdown ... his 15.0 return average ranked sixth nationally and third on UT's single-season list ... had six returns of 30 or more yards ... twice broke the school's single-game record for punt return yards (173, at Baylor; 153, vs. North Carolina) ... returned seven punts for a UT-record 173 yards (24.7 avg.), including a career long 60-yarder, at Baylor ... tied the Big 12 and UT single-game record with eight returns for a then-school-record 153 yards (19.1 avg.) against North Carolina ... had a 44-yard TD and returned another punt 59 yards against the Tar Heels ... named the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in that contest ... added four returns for 54 yards in the Big 12 Championship game against No. 9 Colorado ... returned a pair of punts 43 yards (21.5 avg.), including a 44-yarder, at Missouri ... named UT's Frank Denius Special Teams Player of the Week three times (after both games vs. Colorado and at Baylor).
Played in 11 games at cornerback, including the Holiday Bowl, and started three as a nickel back ... also was a standout on the UT's special teams units ... posted 20 tackles, three TFLs (-18 yards), a sack and five pass breakups ... helped a Texas secondary that posted a NCAA-leading 88.3 pass efficiency rating ... recorded a sack against No. 22 Texas A&M ... had three stops at Texas Tech ... posted a pair of tackles, two PBUs and a forced fumble at Colorado ... had a career-high seven tackles against Missouri ... recorded four solo stops against No. 10 Oklahoma ... helped UT limit opponents to an average starting field position of the 20.9-yard line and a 15.8-yard kick return average (57 returns) ... registered seven special teams stops and returned three punts for an 8.7 average.
Coached by Barry Norton at Texas High ... played wide receiver and cornerback as a prepster ... earned first-team Texas 4A all-state (Texas Sportswriters Association) honors on both offense and defense as a senior ... also named to the 1999 first-team all-state (The Associated Press) squad as a cornerback ... posted 106 tackles, six interceptions, two sacks and three forced fumbles in 1999 ... added 52 receptions for 837 yards and 12 touchdowns ... ran for one TD and threw for another against Corsicana in the first round of the 1999 state playoffs ... lettered three seasons in both basketball and track and played eight seasons of youth soccer.
Born 11/17/81 in Wichita Falls, Texas ... full name is Nathanael DeWayne Vasher ...a relative started calling him "ESPN3" because of his knack for producing SportsCenter highlights ... majored in youth and community studies ... two-semester member of the UT's Athletics DIrector's Honor Roll ... was very active in UT's community service program ... served as a mentor at local elementary schools ... a prep honor roll student ... his cousin, Randy Garner, played defensive end at Arkansas ... enjoys mentoring children, listening to music and spending time with his family ... volunteers time at his local Boys Club ... lists watching professional wrestling and writing among his hobbies.
Year G/GS TT (Solo) Sacks TFL INT (Yds.-TD) PBU FC FR High
2003 13/13 43 (35) 0 5 (-12) 6 (12-0) 26 0 0 6/2x
2002 11/10 33 (24) 1 (-2) 4 (-7) 4 (3-0) 15 0 1 8/LSU+
2001 12/12 56 (41) 0 (0) 2 (-3) ^7 (17-0) 18 0 1 12/CU*
2000 11/3 23 (20) 1 (-7) 3 (-18) 0 (0-0) 5 1 0 7/MU
Career 47/38 155 (120) 2 (-9) 14 (-40) 17 (32-0) 64 1 2 12/CU*
Year G TT (Solo) FC FR PBLK KBLK
2003 Did not play on defensive special teams
2002 11 0 (0) 0 0 0 0
2001 12 3 (3) 0 0 0 0
2000 11 7 (5) 0 0 0 0
Career 34 10 (8) 0 0 0 0
Year G PR-Yds YPR TD Long KR-Yds YPR TD Long
2003 13 28-364 13.0 0 59/Rice 0-0 --- 0 ---
2002 11 26-370 14.2 1 60t/A&M 1-39 39.0 0 39/NU
2001 12 37-554^ 15.0 1 60/BU 0-0 --- 0 ---
2000 11 3-26 8.7 0 13/ULL 0-0 --- 0 ---
Career 34 94-1,314 14.0 2 60/2x 1-39 39.0 0 39/NU
Tackles: 12 vs. Colorado (So.)*
Interceptions: 2 at Nebraska (Jr.); vs. Kansas (So.)
Pass breakups: 4 at Baylor (Sr.); at OSU (Sr.)
Punt returns: 8 vs. North Carolina (So.)^
Punt return yards: 173 at Baylor (So.)^
^ UT record
+ Cotton Bowl
* Big 12 Championship game