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Tommy Vardell
No. 44
Position: Fullback
Personal information
Born: (1969-02-20) February 20, 1969 (age 49)
El Cajon, California
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 234 lb (106 kg)
Career information
College: Stanford
NFL Draft: 1992 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Thomas Arthur "Touchdown Tommy" Vardell (born February 20, 1969) is a former professional American football fullback in the National Football League.

College career[edit]

Tommy Vardell was a star running back for the Stanford Cardinal.

In 1990, Vardell 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][3]

In 1990 as a Junior, he carried the ball just 120 times for 441 yards but scored an impressive 14 TDs (1 TD every 9 carries). As a Senior, he would carry the ball 226 times for 1,084 yards and score 20 TD in only 11 games.

NFL career[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

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 (9th overall) of the 1992 NFL Draft.

NFL career[edit]

He displayed solid running ability in his first two years with the Browns rushing for 1,013 yards on 270 carries but only scored 3 TD. He would only play 10 games combined due to injuries in the 1994 and 1995 seasons before he ended up with the San Francisco 49ers in 1996 and Detroit Lions in 1997.

In his pro 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[edit]

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[edit]

In 2000, upon retiring from football, Vardell and former teammates Steve Young, Brent Jones, and Mark Harris co-founded Northgate Capital, a fund of funds type private equity and venture capital firm with offices in Danville, California and London, UK and served as its Managing Director and Founding Partner.[6] He sold a majority stake in Northgate to Indian financial services company Religare Enterprises in 2010 and left the firm 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.[7][8]

Personal life[edit]

Vardell is married to Andrea Marie Cummings, with whom he has two children, Colton and Grace. They reside in the Bay Area.[9]

Vardell was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity at Stanford.

References[edit]

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