NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Most football players aspiring to National Football League careers see the annual scouting combine in Indianapolis as a major stepping stone toward the draft. That’s especially the case for an All-American player from the Ivy League like Yale’s Tyler Varga.
The senior tailback from Kitchener, Ont., who led the nation in scoring last fall and is coming off a great showing at last week’s Senior Bowl, has been invited to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine that runs from Feb. 17-23 in Lucas Oil Stadium.
He is just the second (Patrick Witt ’12 ) Bulldog to be invited to the national showcase that has become a televised reality show.
Top executives, coaches, player personnel people and medical personnel from all 32 NFL teams will be there to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for this spring’s NFL Draft.
Varga had an impressive week of practice with the North squad at Mobile, Ala., last week, was named team captain and then scored twice on four carries while also catching four passes in a win over the South.
His performance was enough to make NFL Network commentator Mike Mayock sing the Yale fight song:
“The Senior Bowl was a fantastic experience. It was a grueling week of evaluation,” said Varga, who scored on runs of 13 and seven yards. “My primary goals were to make my family and Yale proud.”
The 5-foot-11, 224-pound combination of speed and power, has multiple sources of motivation from which he can attribute much of his success.
“My motor is always at 100 miles per hour, but you need certain things to remind you what you represent and why you’re doing this. The support I received in the form of text messages, emails, phone calls… It was phenomenal and it really gave me a huge boost. I’m really thankful for all of the love that’s been sent my way. It means more than you can imagine.”
A week’s worth of practices against college all-stars from around the country was an eye-opening experience for a guy who went from playing Canadian collegiate football to the Ivy League. However, one thing stood out.
“One of the biggest things I grew to appreciate during the experience was how tough the Yale Football team is in comparison to the nation’s best players. I realized that the standards we are held to here have served as an enormous benefit to our mental rigor on and off the field… And that’s huge when it comes to being successful because you know that you can withstand more adversity than the man across from you.”
Now the student-athlete who brought back memories of another famous Yalie wearing No. 30, former NFL star Calvin Hill, is on to another group of college all-stars next month. He will get measured, examined, interviewed, tested and timed for all to see.
“We just left base-camp… Now it’s time to continue climbing the mountain,” said Varga.
filed by Steve Conn, Yale Sports Publicity Director