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SaberCats Acquire Defensive Back Tanner Varner

March 21, 2012 - Arena Football League (AFL) - San Jose SaberCats News Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. - The SaberCats announced today that they have acquired defensive back Tanner Varner from the Kansas City Command in exchange for the second and fifth position in the Arena Football League's claim order.

"Tanner is a player who brings a lot of experience with the indoor game to our team," said Owner/Head Coach Darren Arbet. "He will help solidify the depth of our secondary, and we are looking forward to his arrival."

Varner (6-0, 200, Northern Iowa) joins the SaberCats from the Command, though he was involved in a trade to Kansas City from the Philadelphia Soul on March 14. He has played two seasons in the Arena Football League, as he spent 2011 with the Soul and the 2010 season as a member of the Iowa Barnstormers.

In 2011 with the Soul, Varner appeared in seven games, where he posted 45 total tackles, intercepted five passes, forced a fumble and scored two defensive touchdowns (both off of interceptions). He found the end zone on one other occasion, returning a kickoff 12 yards for a touchdown on April 15 against the Tampa Bay Storm.

The Ottumwa (Iowa) native had one of the best rookie campaigns for a defender in league history in 2010 with the Barnstormers, earning first team All-Arena honors. He led the team with a league-rookie record 129.5 total tackles (113 unassisted), intercepted eight passes (which ranked fourth in the AFL), scored twice defensively and forced one fumble.

Though he was an AFL rookie in 2010, Varner spent the first three seasons after his time at Northern Iowa in af2 (arenafootball2) with the Arkansas Twisters (2007) and Iowa Barnstormers (2008-09). He recorded 294 total tackles, 26 interceptions and forced six fumbles in his three seasons in af2.

The former Northern Iowa Panther posted 85.5 tackles and three interceptions in his senior season, bringing home first team All-American and All Gateway Conference honors and was named the team's most valuable defensive player. He transferred to Northern Iowa from Ellsworth Community College (Iowa).

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