OXFORD, Miss. — As we count down the days until the Ole Miss season opener against Memphis in the Liberty Bowl, we are releasing who we think the Top 50 Most Impactful Players will be for the Rebels this season. This series is a way for Ole Miss fans to learn more about players to keep an eye on this fall.
With 40 days before kickoff, coming in at No. 40…
Vernon Dasher, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound Georgia native, was rated as the nation’s No. 2 junior college outside linebacker when he came out of Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College and signed with Ole Miss in the Class of 2018.
He earned 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) first team All-American honors and was the defensive MVP of the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) his sophomore season with 98 tackles, two sacks, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries, and one force fumble.
Last year, during his first season in Oxford, Dasher played the STAR position in the 4-2-5 defense and registered thirty-six tackles, three pass break-ups, and one interception. Now, Dasher has been moved to strong safety in the 3-4 under new defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre.
“This year they’ve got me playing safety,” Dasher told us earlier this spring. “They told me they were going to move me around at nickel, but the package that we have in right now, I’m just playing safety.”
Dasher’s ability to play both spots offers the Rebels some flexibility. ”I play both of them, so it really doesn’t matter. If somebody goes down, I can go in,” Dasher said.
Dasher is happy with MacIntyre’s 3-4 system. “I’m loving it, actually,” he said. “The system that we’ve been putting in allows everybody to just play fast and not think and just go. Everybody is having fun with it. It’s a pretty basic system, but we are having fun with it,” he added.
Dasher was limited a little in spring camp due to injury, so heading into this year’s fall camp, he and C.J. Miller have been named as the backups to JUCO transfer Jonathan Haynes at strong safety. However, at SEC Media Days last week, head coach Matt Luke indicated Dasher and the other walking wounded Rebels will be healthy for fall camp, so Dasher will have the opportunity to earn the starting job throughout camp as the safety spots are still not firmly solidified.
Dasher feels having a year of SEC ball under his belt, after coming from JUCO, will definitely help him this fall. “It’s a lot different from JUCO. The games are a whole lot longer, but since I played in a bunch of SEC games, I’ve got a good feel for it,” he said.
“I understand it. Now, I’m more mature about it. I know what to expect. I feel like this upcoming season is going to be a different ball game, because I know what to expect and how the game is going to flow.“
This season, we expect Dasher to continue to build off of his junior season’s performance. If the senior safety’s production continues to increase, he will likely see NFL scouts start paying more attention to No. 3 leading up to the NFL Draft.
Top 50 Most Impactful Rebels:
40. Vernon Dasher
41. Ryder Anderson
42. D’Vaughn Pennamon
43. C.J. Miller
44. Charles Wiley
45. Sincere David
46. Mac Brown
47. Jason Pellerin
48. Chandler Tuitt
49. Dannis Jackson
50. Jonathan Mingo