Tyler Varga signs with Colts
While he wasn’t one of the 256 players selected in this year’s NFL Draft, Varga signed Saturday with the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent.
The deal is for three years and Varga said he will receive a signing bonus. He added, he will head out to Indianapolis on Thursday for OTAs which begin on May 18.
“I was a little disappointed I didn’t get drafted, but at the same time I have the same opportunity now,” Varga said. “This makes me more hungry. I will work harder than I am already.”
Varga said close to 10 teams called him on Saturday, expressing interest in him as a potential draft pick or an undrafted free agent. Joe Linta, Varga’s agent, said prior to the draft that Varga was a projected fifth- to sixth-round pick.
Varga said he is unsure whether he will play running back or fullback with the Colts. He added he is excited to play with a playoff contender, a great quarterback in Andrew Luck, a strong offensive line and learn from a veteran running back like Frank Gore.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” Varga said. “It’s the best place for me at this point to make a team. I’m excited to move forward here with my football career.”
Varga stayed in New Haven to watch the draft with friends and teammates on Saturday. The power went out on the Yale campus, so Varga watched the beginning of the draft with a handful at Yorkside Pizza, a local restaurant, and then moved over to Yale’s player lounge when the power was back on. ESPN was also in attendance to film Varga.
Varga earned the Ivy League’s offensive player of the year last year and finished his career as the historic program’s fourth all-time leading rusher with 2,985 career yards. He is also third on the school’s all-time list with 31 touchdowns.
The 5-11, 222-pound back was the first Yale player to be selected to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl. He rushed for two touchdowns to lead the North to a 34-13 win. Varga, who was named team captain prior to the game, finished with four carries for 31 yards and the two fourth-quarter scores. He also came up with some key blocks at fullback and added three receptions for 39 yards.
Varga, who was born in Sweden and moved to Canada, transferred in from Western Ontario for his sophomore season. He was the nation’s leading scorer and the CIS National Freshman of the Year at Western Ontario. Varga is projected to be among the top picks in the CFL Draft on May 12.
Harvard linebacker Zach Hodges also signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent. Another client of Linta’s, Sacred Heart defensive back Gordon Hill, signed a three-year deal with the San Diego Chargers.
The last Yale player to be drafted was Shane Bannon. The Kansas City Chiefs selected Bannon in the seventh round in 2011.
“I saw a lot of guys that went before me that I think I can beat out,” Varga said. “I’m just going to go out and prove that.”