FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Tyler Allgeier got drafted two weeks ago now, but the realization that he's an NFL player living a dream didn't hit until Thursday when he arrived in Atlanta.
He walked off the plane at Hartsfield-Jackson, looked at new surroundings and thought, "Oh, damn. This is really it."
It was just the beginning of his NFL journey, in a new city on a different coast, with a real chance to thrive in this Falcons scheme.
And it didn't get off to a great start.
Allgeier got lost navigating Atlanta's massive international airport, taking the wrong tram deeper into the complex instead of out, ultimately relying on the kindness of strangers to find his luggage and ground transport to Falcons headquarters.
"I eventually asked [for help from] a lady, who was so nice," Allgeier said. "She got off the tram to show me the right one to get on to head toward baggage claim."
Outside a few more wrong turns inside the team facility, it has been smooth sailing ever since. The former BYU running back signed his rookie contract on Thursday evening and hit the practice field running, with a sturdy base of knowledge in the Falcons scheme after getting the playbook more than a week before.
The 2022 rookie class has arrived in Flowery Branch, and they got right to work.
That put him in position to have a strong rookie minicamp, consisting of meetings and practice sessions, which breaks on Sunday. Allgeier, however, isn't head back to the airport. He'll stay here and join veteran teammates already in an offseason program that carries on through mid-June.
Allgeier's excited about that next step, about working with Cordarrelle Patterson, Damien Williams and others in coach Michael Pitre's running back room.
"It's about picking their brains, seeing what they're doing and mirroring it," Allgeier said. "The most important thing is getting the playbook down and then taking it day by day."
The deeper Allgeier gets into the Falcons playbook, the more he sees how the scheme plays to his strengths.
"This is a whole different offense, a whole different scheme, but there are a lot of the same things I was being asked to do in college," Allgeier said. "It's about mastering that and the continuing to develop my game."
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith saw a clear fit, a point Smith made that clear to Allgeier right after drafting him No. 151 overall.
"We love the way you play, your makeup and the way you finish runs," Smith said over the phone on draft day, "and all the other stuff you bring to the table."
That's why Allgeier enters this opportunity confident the carries will come in 2022. He described himself as physical, fast, quick and physical. No, that last sentence didn't end a typo. The man said physical twice, which is apt considering he's a tackle breaker who invites and initiates contact. That's what Allgeier brings. That's what the Falcons need in Smith's running game.
"I think they want a north and south back who can make quick cuts when they need to," Allgeier said. "I think I fit the program pretty well."