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Appreciating BYU’s Star Running Back Tyler Allgeier

BYU running back Tyler Allgeier may head to the NFL following this season. Let’s take the time to properly appreciate his journey to becoming one of the best running backs in BYU history.

Brigham Young Cougars defeated the USC Trojans 35-31 during a NCAA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Whenever and wherever BYU plays their bowl game this month, it could be Tyler Allgeier’s final game in a Cougar uniform. And frankly, it should be. Allgeier has built up a resume most NFL teams crave in a running back, but their shelf-life is usually short. Allgeier should go make money for his family while he can.

That is quite a statement regarding a zero-star recruit who had no offers coming out of Kaiser High School in Fontana, California, the same town that yielded BYU’s all-time leading rusher in Jamaal Williams. Kaiser is less than 10 miles from Summit High, Williams’ alma mater.

Allgeier walked on to BYU and played in 11 games as a linebacker in 2019. He had to work at a grocery store to make ends meet, and now, he has a bright NFL future. That’s something out of the underdog story of Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (who is getting a movie about his unlikely story this Christmas, American Underdog).

Despite not being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and getting moved to linebacker, Allgeier stuck with it in Provo and now is seeing the fruits of his labors.

The fans are certainly enjoying it too.

The world was introduced to Tyler Allgeier, The Running Back in the pandemic-riddled 2020 season, in Week 1 against Navy. Against the Midshipmen, he tallied 132 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries, good enough for a 9.4 yards-per-carry average. He never looked back, notching six 100-plus yard games including a monster 173-yard performance in BYU’s big win over UCF in the Boca Raton Bowl. He finished the year with 1,130 yards on the ground, becoming the first BYU running back since the other Fontana-native back left Provo for the NFL following his strong 2016 campaign.

Entering 2021, he figured to be the No. 1 guy and again, he never looked back. The 2021 squad has run Allgeier ragged. In seven games, he has toted the rock over 20 times with six 100-yard games. Several times this year, the bruising runner has almost literally put the Cougars on his broad shoulders and willed the team to victory.

Against Utah, the Cougars got out to a 23-7 lead before the Utes chipped away at the deficit to get the game to 23-17. With still over nine minutes left in the game, BYU needed to put the pedal down to seal the deal or risk losing yet another game to Utah. Allgeier ran seven times in the final two drives of the game to seal the win.

Just a week later against Arizona State, Allgeier made one of the greatest individual plays you will ever see.

Aside from the Interception-Turned-Fumble-Heard-’Round-The-World, Allgeier did enough on the ground with 69 yards and a touchdown.

Against USF, Allgeier got five carries in the final drive to ice the game. Facing Utah State, he punched it into the end zone to give BYU a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter that they would hold for the win.

With BYU in the middle of a two-game losing streak, the Cougars needed a win badly against Washington State on the road in Pullman. Allgeier once again answered the bell, first scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter to put BYU up eight. Then BYU faced a 3rd and 7 with less than two minutes left, needing a first down to seal the win. Instead of passing and risking an incompletion that would stop the clock or a turnover, they turned to their bell-cow once more. Allgeier rumbled ahead for nine yards for the victory-sealing first down.

In the absolute insanity that was BYU’s contest against Virginia, Allgeier ran wild for an astounding 266 yards and five touchdowns, a BYU single-game record in their 66-49 win.

The redshirt sophomore back was named a Doak Walker Award semifinalist, given to the nation’s top running back, but inexplicably was left off the list of the three finalists. As of now, he is tied for the nation’s lead in rushing touchdowns and sixth in the nation in rushing yards.

During the USC game, Allgeier showed the other side of himself. On the field, he is an absolute brute and punisher. Yet he is always quick to deflect praise and opportunities to gloat about himself. In the waning moments of the win against USC, Allgeier was running on fumes. The coaches opted for third-string running back Jackson McChesney to seal the game and Allgeier was one of McChesney’s biggest cheerleaders on the sidelines.

Looking at Allgeier’s mannerisms as the game went on, it was clear he was gassed. No player on BYU’s 2021 roster has left it all on the field quite like Allgeier has through 12 games, with the bowl game pending. Time after time, after a big hit, many wondered if Allgeier was going to get up. Is this the hit where the bill comes due and his body breaks down?

As of now, that bill has not come back to the Cougars’ table. Allgeier is still rumbling on, ending games and breaking spirits right and left.

After every game, the look on his face says it all. He’s tired, beaten and at times, bloodied. Yet he is the silent assassin that has single-handedly won games for the Cougars.

His 1,414 rushing yards this year marks the second-most by a BYU running back ever. Only the heralded Luke Staley, in 2001, had more with 1,582. With a monster bowl game, Allgeier could become the single-season rushing record holder at BYU.

He currently sits at 2,712 career rushing yards, sixth all-time at BYU. He needs just 103 yards in the bowl game to pass Taysom Hill for fifth. His 33 rushing touchdowns is fifth all-time, two short of Jamaal Williams and Jamal Willis.

Not bad for a walk-on who was playing linebacker two years ago.

Pro Football Network just released a seven-round mock draft and they have Allgeier joining his former BYU teammate Zach Wilson with the Jets in the fourth round.

Get a good long look at No. 25 during the bowl game, because that is likely the last time you will see him play in a BYU uniform.