Tyler Varga: A Canadian/Swedish/Finnish Yale Player Grabbing NFL Attention

[tps_title]Yale’s Tyler Varga Sports International Background[/tps_title]

Canadian/Swedish/Finnish (yep, all three) tailback Tyler Varga has been turning heads and creating excitement as he moves from an outstanding college career at prestigious Yale University to what looks like a promising NFL/CFL career.

Tyler Varga headshot

Tyler Varga

Born in Stockholm, Sweden (he speaks Swedish) and raised in Kitchener Ontario, Canada, Varga’s talents and tenacity were on display in the 66th annual Senior Bowl college all-star game.

This past weekend, in front of 36,471 fans at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama, he did nothing to disappoint. In fact, by the end of the game, his stock had risen considerably in the eyes of the many NFL and CFL general managers, pro scouts and coaches on hand.

CNN's Bleacher Report
The most impressive running back of all on Saturday, however, was Tyler Varga. A college tailback who was listed on the North (team) roster as a fullback, Varga showed an impressively well-rounded skill set Saturday.

As a tailback, Varga ran the ball four times for 31 yards; two of his runs went for touchdowns. As a fullback, Varga made a number of strong lead blocks up the middle, including one on Cobb’s four-yard touchdown. Varga also displayed pass-catching ability, as he did all week in practice, with three receptions for 39 yards Saturday.

A 5’10”, 227-pound Ivy League product, Varga projects only as a late-round draft pick, but he’s likely to emerge as a quality role player who makes the team that drafts him look smart.

Tyler Varga4

For those unfamiliar with the Senior Bowl, it is one of the few annual college all-star games giving top college players an opportunity to show off their skills against their peers and to fans, and professional teams. The game caters to fans as well as scouts and coaches as the two teams are concerned more with divvying up playing time than actually winning the game. The coaches for the game were of the highest caliber as well. The head coach for the North team was Ken Whisenhunt of the Tennessee Titans while their opponents, the South team, was guided by Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Senior Bowl logoThe Baltimore Ravens have also noticed the quality of Varga:

 “The success of Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the NFL has built something of a pipeline from the Ivy League to the Senior Bowl. Two years ago, Juszczyk boosted his draft stock at the Senior Bowl as a converted lead blocker after primarily operating as an H-back and tight end at Harvard. The Ravens selected him in the fourth round after a strong performance in the annual all-star game.

Now Yale running back Tyler Varga is making his case for a spot in the NFL. He has impressed scouts and coaches this week with his rugged running style and deceptive speed.”

Read the full article here.

Highlights of Varga’s Senior Bowl performance

Some fan forums are already projecting him to other teams including the Denver Broncos. Read Saydre Bedinger’s column.

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Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.