November 3, 2008
Varnado adding offense to his resume
The reigning National Defensive Player of the Year can score too?
Jarvis Varnado is making his presence felt on the offensive end as well this season and hopes to be the scoring threat down low for the Bulldogs.
"I'm coming along good," Varnado said. "Last year I couldn't do it because we had Charles Rhodes down there. I just played my role last year but I've always been able to score, ya'll just haven't seen it yet. I'm ready to bring it and have been working hard constantly."
Varnado narrowly missed a triple-double in his first exhibition game this past Saturday against Montevallo. He scored 17 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had eight blocks on the evening.
The 6-foot-9, 210-pound junior center from Brownsville, Tenn., averaged 7.9 points, 7.8 rebounds 4.6 blocks starting all 34 games last season.
Varnado led the country in blocked shots with 157, shattering the previous school record of 109 set by Erick Dampier and tying the Southeastern Conference mark along with Shaquille O'Neal.
"I wasn't too surprised at how many blocks I had because I've been doing this since high school," Varnado said. "That's where I got my nickname (Swat) from. I just needed the time and the reps to do it. It just comes natural to me. It just takes timing and instincts to go get it."
For his efforts last season, Varnado named the National Defensive Player of the Year by Rivals.com and CollegeInsider.com as well as placed on the All-SEC team by the Associated Press as an honorable mention. He was voted second team Preseason All-SEC coming into the year.
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