FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Tyler Allgeier is proud of so much he accomplished during his time at BYU. He set a single-season school record with 1,601 rushing yards in 2021. He led all FBS schools with 23 rushing touchdowns. He helped the Cougars tally double-digit wins totals in his last two years at the school.
His proudest moment, however, isn't listed above.
It was the day he earned a scholarship.
If you can believe it, the guy with all those accolades came to Provo, Utah, as a preferred walk-on. Allgeier was fighting for opportunities and paying his own freight to do so. That was no easy task. He even worked at a Wal-Mart and taught at football camps to help his family pay for his education.
He was doing everything he could to stand out, playing linebacker and running back in 2019 while trying to fit in where he could help the team. Allgeier just kept grinding, never taking anything for granted. That hard work eventually paid off. BYU coaches gave him a scholarship.
"A lot of people can get comfortable when they're put on scholarship," Allgeier said. "I came in as a preferred walk-on, without a scholarship. I ended up making my own way and earning one after my second year. I moved positions. I played on all special teams. I showed my worth to the team and earned what I got.
"After I got a scholarship, I scratched out that goal and moved on to the next one. That was to make it to the League and do my part to help the team win. I really think that mentality got me here. Never get comfortable. That's my mindset."
Allgeier never got comfortable, even after the scholarship provided some security. As his stats in 2020 and ’21 will attest. He was, however, finally allowed to exhale.
"Once I got my scholarship, it was really exciting," Allgeier said. "Just like it was when I got drafted, all the weight fell off my shoulders. All I needed to do was focus on football. Mom didn't have to worry about paying for school anymore. I could just do my thing, take care of my mom and work on earning that degree. I'm still working on it, but I'm going to get it. 20 credits left. So I'm going to finish it when I have a chance."
That time is not now. Allgeier has work to attend to. He's a key member of the Atlanta Falcons now, with ink now dry on a rookie contract that will pay him well for his services as a bulldozing rusher who could help his new team this season.
He's over the moon over this opportunity one that became ever-so-real on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Odds of Allgeier not getting taken by someone were virtually nil, but that didn't dampen his stress over proceedings.
Allgeier had those pre-scholarship feelings all over again, with the anxiety heavy on his shoulders. Then, with the Falcons were on the clock at No. 151, the running back's phone lit up and changed the mood.
"It was crazy," Allgeier said. "There comes a point when you've done everything you can to prepare for it, and you don't know what other teams are thinking or when you might go. You can't control it. Once I got the call from the Falcons, all the weight and stress melted away. It was so freeing. I mean, what an amazing moment."
There was something said on that draft call which stuck out, and really meant something. Head coach Arthur Smith came on the line and delivered an inspiring and motivating message to his new player.
"We're fired up to bring you down here," Smith said on the call. "We love the way you play, your makeup and the way you finish runs and all the other stuff you bring to the table."
It was clear in that moment that both sides saw this as an ideal fit, an opportunity where Allgeier could thrive. Not like that let him rest too easy. Getting comfortable isn't Allgeier's style.
"I was so grateful and thankful for what he said," Allgeier said. "But getting drafted gets your foot in the door. Now I have to make the most of every opportunity I get."