Tyler Varga, the Mustangs rookie running back who took the Canadian Interuniversity Sport by storm, has parted ways with his purple and white teammates, opting to travel south in order to play for the Yale Bulldogs in New Haven, Connecticut.
Varga, the reigning CIS scoring champion and rookie of the year, announced his decision to leave Western on Wednesday, May 9 via email.
“I would like to announce my decision to withdraw from the University of Western Ontario and the UWO football program,” Varga wrote in his email. “I would like to thank the university, the City of London, the fans, the alumni, and my teammates for the way they have treated me and contributed to my experience over the past year.”
“The City of London, the fans and the supporters of Western football are the best that I have ever experienced and the alumni’s support for the school and football program is second to none. My teammates are a great bunch of guys and they are what I will miss the most. I wish them and the university all the best in the future,” he continued.
Though disappointed with the news, Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall wished Varga well with all of his future endeavours.
“[It] was disappointing, but it’s the decision Tyler made and I have to respect it,” Marshall said. “I don’t necessarily agree with it, [but] he is going to do what’s best for him. He is a good kid and I wish him luck.”
In recent history. the Mustangs have been feared by teams because of their excellent running game and their supreme depth at the running back position. So it is no wonder that even with the young powerhouse gone and veteran running back Nathan Riva hanging up his cleats after four years with the Mustangs, Marshall isn’t worried.
“Garret Sanvido is a great running back. We’ve got two good running backs coming in and we have Tyrel Reid on our team. We’ll be okay,” Marshall explained. “Right now Garret Sanvido might be the tail back and he is very good.”
Varga finished his rookie season with 114 yards per game and 15 touchdowns on the season — both first in the CIS. Although Varga’s absence from the team will hurt, Marshall is confident the Mustangs can continue to dominate the Ontario University Athletics.
“Yeah it’s big news, but in a team game I think our players will all agree that our team is bigger than one player,” Marshall said. “It’s a team game and the team will move forward. Our team will be fine next year.”
With files from Usman Zahid