Tommy Vardell
No. 44
Position:Fullback
Personal information
Born: (1969-02-20) February 20, 1969 (age 55)
El Cajon, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:238 lb (108 kg)
Career information
High school:Granite Hills (El Cajon)
College:Stanford
NFL draft:1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Thomas Arthur "Touchdown Tommy" Vardell (born February 20, 1969) is an American former professional football player who was a fullback in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Stanford Cardinal and was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the 1992 NFL draft with the ninth overall pick.

College career

Vardell was a star running back for the Stanford Cardinal. In 1990, he was given the nickname "Touchdown Tommy" by then Stanford head coach Denny Green after scoring four touchdowns (all from the one yard line) against Notre Dame.

For the Cardinal, Vardell rushed for 1,843 yards, scored 37 touchdowns, and never recorded a fumble in his college career. He ranks second in Stanford football history for most rushing touchdowns in a season and third for career rushing touchdowns.[1] Vardell held the record for most rushing yards in a season by a Cardinal running back, with 1084 yards in 1991. His record was broken by Toby Gerhart in 2009 and subsequently Christian McCaffrey in 2015.[2][1]

In 1990 as a junior, he carried the ball just 120 times for 441 yards but scored an impressive 14 touchdowns (one touchdown every nine carries). As a senior, he would carry the ball 226 times for 1,084 yards and score 22 touchdowns in only 11 games.

Professional career

NFL Draft

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span
6 ft 1+14 in
(1.86 m)
238 lb
(108 kg)
31+18 in
(0.79 m)
9+14 in
(0.23 m)

Vardell's performance for Stanford in 1991 resulted in him being one of the top draft picks in 1992 NFL draft. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns under then-head coach Bill Belichick in the first round wit the ninth overall pick.[3]

Playing career

In his first two years with the Browns, Vardell rushed for 1,013 yards on 270 carries and scored 3 touchdowns. He would only play 10 games combined due to injuries in the 1994 and 1995 seasons. He signed as a free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996, moved on to the Detroit Lions in 1997 and 1998, and then finished his career back with the 49ers in 1999.

In his professional career, Vardell played in eight NFL seasons as the fullback for the Browns, the Detroit Lions, and the San Francisco 49ers. He overcame a career threatening knee injury early in his career and retired in 1999 with 22 touchdowns.[4]

He was the starting fullback when Barry Sanders rushed for 2,053 yards in the 1997–1998 NFL season.

NFL statistics

Rushing Stats[5]

Year Team Games Carries Yards Yards per Carry Longest Carry Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1992 CLE 14 99 369 3.7 35 0 14 0 0
1993 CLE 16 171 644 3.8 54 3 37 2 1
1994 CLE 5 15 48 3.2 9 0 2 0 0
1995 CLE 5 4 9 2.3 6 0 1 0 0
1996 SF 11 58 192 3.3 17 2 12 0 0
1997 DET 16 32 122 3.8 41 6 15 1 1
1998 DET 14 18 37 2.1 17 6 9 1 1
1999 SF 6 6 6 1.0 5 1 2 0 0
Career 87 403 1,427 3.5 54 18 92 4 3

Receiving Stats[5]

Year Team Games Receptions Yards Yards per Reception Longest Reception Touchdowns First Downs Fumbles Fumbles Lost
1992 CLE 14 13 128 9.8 23 0 8 0 0
1993 CLE 16 19 151 7.9 28 1 8 1 1
1994 CLE 5 16 137 8.6 19 1 6 0 0
1995 CLE 5 6 18 3.0 7 0 0 0 0
1996 SF 11 28 179 6.4 22 0 7 0 0
1997 DET 16 16 218 13.6 37 0 10 0 0
1998 DET 14 14 143 10.2 31 1 6 0 0
1999 SF 6 7 36 5.1 11 0 1 0 0
Career 87 119 1,010 8.5 37 3 46 1 1

Business career

In 2000, upon retiring from football, Vardell and former teammates, Brent Jones, and Mark Harris co-founded Northgate Capital, a venture capital and private equity investment firm with approximately $4.9 billion of assets under management and offices in San Francisco, Danville, Mexico City and London, and served as its managing director and founding partner.[6][7] He sold a majority stake in Northgate to Indian financial services company Religare Enterprises in 2010 and continued to manage the firm as a partner. In 2016, after Religare and Northgate's management team sold 100% ownership of the firm to The Capital Partnership, an investment advisor with offices in London and Dubai, he became an advisor.[8][9]

Personal life

Vardell is married to Andrea Marie Cummings, with whom he has two children, Colton and Grace. They reside in the Bay Area.[10]

Vardell was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity at Stanford. In 1991 he was named Sigma Nu National Athlete of the Year.

References

  1. ^ a b "Rushing Records".
  2. ^ "Gerhart sets Stanford season rushing mark". 23 November 2008.
  3. ^ "1992 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2023-05-07.
  4. ^ "Tommy Vardell NFL Football Statistics". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  5. ^ a b "Tommy Vardell Stats". ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 2 June 2014.
  6. ^ https://www.linkedin.com/in/thomas-vardell-2745543 [self-published source]
  7. ^ "Northgate promotes one to CFO, hires head of IR". PE Hub. 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2019-04-09.
  8. ^ Cromwell Schubarth (April 19, 2016). "Northgate says co-founding ex-NFLers Brent Jones, Tommy Vardell expected to stay after sale". Sillicon Valley Business Journal. Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  9. ^ "Thomas Vardell | Northgate".
  10. ^ "Practice What You Preach". 29 September 2014.