FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — "Manifest your world."
Those words draped the front and back of Tyler Allgeier's T-shirt after the Falcons first regular-season victory.
Whether or not an intentional choice, it illustrates Allgeier's journey.
From a walk-on at BYU, where he worked at Walmart part-time before earning a scholarship, to making a name for himself last season as a fifth-round pick, Allgeier is plenty familiar with defeating the odds and creating his own destiny.
"I've been underestimated all my life," Allgeier said. "It's nothing new."
Allgeier proved himself last season by breaking the franchise rookie rushing record with 1,035 yards. Now, he's manifesting a vocal leadership role.
The 5-foot-11, 220-pound running back may look intimidating breaking tackles and steamrolling defenses but, off the field, he's more soft-spoken and introverted.
This season Allgeier no longer needs to worry about whether he'll be on the active or inactive list like he was in Week 1 last year. He no longer needs to worry about learning a whole new offense. He no longer needs to play at a level where he's simply trying to not mess up.
So, now the running back focuses on finding his spots to speak up and take up more space.
Teammates who played with the timid (personality-wise, anyway) rookie in 2022 noticed a difference through this year's training camp into the early regular season.
"Tyler was more of the quiet guy just, 'hand me the ball and watch me talk,' and that's kind of where he did his talking was on the field," Falcons quarterback Desmond Ridder said. "It's exciting to see guys step into different roles and kind of go out of their comfort zone."
Keith Smith, who has worked with the second-year rusher from a fullback and tight end perspective noted that Allgeier's confidence has gone up tremendously.
In meeting rooms instead of maintaining an even, quiet tone even when called upon, he's now trying to be the first to answer questions.
"When you're a rookie just everything is nerve-wracking, it's stressful," Smith said. "You kind of seeing him release the pressure and just being himself."
Part of his leadership role has been helping along his running mate Bijan Robinson.
There were a lot of questions about the backfield after the Falcons drafted Robinson No. 8 overall, but not for Allgeier and Robinson. They went right to work and developed a close friendship.
From hanging out at Raising Cane's together or bonding as anime fiends, the two get along well off the field. Robinson said there's a different level of play anime fans can access on the field. Think of a Dragon Ball Z with Goku going Super Saiyan.
"It's always so fun to be around him," Robinson said. "That's my brother right there."
It's not a competition; it only helps them feed off each other. Robinson may be starting, but Allgeier's playmaking isn't taking a back seat.
The first offensive series began with Robinson in the backfield against the Panthers. Then Allgeier subbed in the next series and made two bulldozing runs finishing with a game-high 75 yards rushing and two touchdowns. When the Falcons featured the duo together, Robinson recorded his first-career touchdown.
Arthur Smith and the Falcons offense displayed against the Panthers that they have room for both backs to flourish this season. Even if the passing game isn't clicking, the power of Allgeier and Robinson can make up for it.
Thus far it's been a symbiotic relationship. Allgeier helps Robinson navigate that first year with routine tips like how to take care of his body on off days and the rookie chimes in with advice on route running and developing the receiving game.
Another step Allgeier is looking to take is becoming a more all-around back while already being a power runner that teammates appreciate.
"Tyler is one of the best people in the world," right guard Chris Lindstrom said. "We're so thankful as an O-line to be able to have the opportunity to block for somebody that runs that hard."
Lindstrom also echoed sentiments commending the interpersonal steps Allgeier took, adding that the running back cares deeply about putting in the work to get better.
While an incredibly small sample size, Allgeier caught three passes for 19 yards in Week 1, and he wants to keep working to become an all-purpose back. That includes being a receiver out of the backfield. For reference, he averaged just one reception last season.
No matter the circumstances or who's playing in front of him, Allgeier continues to manifest growth.
"He's done a great job of just becoming a leader within himself," Ridder said. "He always looks on how he can get better, and what he can do to grow."