Standout DB Varmah Sonie joins Orlando Predators
Monday January 4, 2016
ORLANDO – January 4, 2016 – The Orlando Predators have agreed to terms with standout veteran defensive back Varmah Sonie, the franchise announced today. Sonie spent his first two seasons with the Portland Thunder and enters his third year in the Arena Football League.
Since arriving in the AFL, Sonie (5-8, 180, Northern Iowa) has been a dominant performer in the secondary. As a rookie in 2014, he earned First Team All-Arena honors after posting nine interceptions and 25 pass breakups, ranking third in the AFL with 34 total passes defended. Sonie also led Portland with a franchise record 86 total tackles, including three stops for loss and three forced fumbles.
Sonie’s performance as a rookie caught the attention of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who signed him to the practice roster late during the 2014 season. He later signed a contract with the Cleveland Browns in February of 2015, but was released prior to the start of the season.
Following his NFL stint, Sonie returned to the AFL late in 2015 and was again masterful. Despite only playing in the final five games of the season for Portland, Sonie snared four interceptions, one of which was returned 13 yards for a touchdown. He added 30.5 total tackles with six pass breakups, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery. After allowing a league-high average of over 56 points per game during its first 13 contests, the Thunder surrendered an average of just 49 points per game with Sonie in the secondary – a mark that would’ve ranked third in the AFL.
"Varmah is as dynamic a defensive back as you'll find in the Arena Football League," said Head Coach Rob Keefe. "He has the ability to make plays that can shift momentum and change the course of any game. Varmah is also an excitable player who brings attitude to the field and approaches his craft with tenacity and determination. We're excited to add a player of his caliber to our secondary."
Sonie was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection during his collegiate career at the University of Northern Iowa. As a three-year starter, Sonie’s career totals included 158 tackles, 7.5 stops for loss, 16 pass breakups, six interceptions, three forced fumbles, and two blocked kicks.
A native of Burnsville, Minnesota, Sonie attended Apple Valley High School, where he recorded 19 interceptions and returned five kicks for touchdowns as a three-year starter. During his senior season in 2008, Sonie won Minnesota’s prestigious Mr. Football Award.
About The Orlando Predators
The Orlando Predators celebrate their 25th Anniversary in 2016 as Central Florida’s most exciting and innovative professional sports franchise. Proud members of the Arena Football League, the Predators have achieved unprecedented success on the field. Orlando has advanced to the AFL playoffs a league-leading 22 times in their history while securing seven conference championships, including two ArenaBowl Championship victories in 1998 and 2000.