clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Falcons rookie Tyler Allgeier is no stranger to fighting for roles and yards

The rookie running back knows nothing is guaranteed, but plans to push his way into becoming a major contributor for the Falcons.

NFL Combine Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Tyler Allgeier had to work relentlessly to earn everything he’s gotten. He wasn’t handed a starting position in high school or college. He didn’t even receive a full scholarship to college. For him, it was all about making every sacrifice to prove he not only belonged but could be a difference-maker for his team.

While every player has had to overcome adversity in some way to make it to the NFL, few players have defied the odds quite like the Falcons’ new running back. Despite being Kaiser High School’s all-time leading rusher, people still believed he was too stiff and slow to make it at the college level. All the high school accolades didn’t generate much interest. Allgeier didn’t have much in the way of offers to consider, as he was heading to BYU for a visit in 2018.

“When I went on my visit, my mom was right there with me,” Allgeier said. “I only had two offers out of high school. It was to be a preferred walk-on at BYU or a half-scholarship to a Division II school. Going on that visit, my mom asked me if I really wanted to be at BYU. She said we can fork out the money and take out loans if you really want to be here.”

“She made it clear to me that I just have to give 110% and do what I do. Grind it out and prove myself. That’s when I was like yeah, let’s do it. I put my head down and got to work from that moment.”

Making sacrifices

It was time to prove he could play for a Division I program, and that included playing a completely different position. For everything he did as a running back in high school, the opportunity wasn’t initially there for him to get the ball out of the backfield. He had to contribute in other areas, even if it meant playing linebacker.

“When I got there, I was put on special teams,” Allgeier stated. “I was also on the scout team, so I was making the starting players work. That’s when Coach Lamb, who was our special teams’ coach, appreciated all my efforts. Obviously, you have to earn your stripes when you are starting from the bottom. That’s what I did and Lamb recognized it. He was more of a defensive-minded guy. After watching me practice, that’s when it started to come together. ”

“In 2019, the defensive coaching staff said if they (offensive coaching staff) aren’t going to play you, we’ll take you and use you as a linebacker. That was a real opportunity for me to get on the field. I already had a background playing linebacker in high school. The switch wasn’t bad at all. I personally enjoyed it for a season, along with playing special teams.”

Working for something rather than being handed something is what Allgeier has done his entire life. It goes beyond putting the work in on the football field. Allgeier wanted to be active and take command of his life as a teenager. That meant taking a Uber to work at Walmart and pushing around shopping carts to make money. No matter the amount of sacrifice he put in to spend money to go to work in hot summer conditions, Allgeier wanted to be his own man as soon as he got to BYU.

“Not only did I work at Walmart, but I also did this trash job,” Allgeier chuckled. “A couple of guys on the team and I did it over the summer. We did those things to make money. Those sacrifices were about trying to take care of myself. I wanted to help and not have my mom send me money all the time. I took it day by day and put in the hard work. I wanted to be productive. Right after summer workouts to get ready for my freshman year, I would go and make some money by pushing carts at Walmart or cleaning up trash. I was always disciplined. I just wanted to do more.”

Seeing his mom do everything possible to provide for him meant the world to him. Allgeier credits his mom Ester for pushing him to play football. Without her, it’s unlikely he would have pushed himself to become someone capable of playing in the NFL. What she has done for him goes far beyond what he does on the field. She taught him lifelong values that he’ll never forget.

“She was both a mother and father figure to me growing up,” Allgeier proudly stated. “My father wasn’t really around. She taught me how to be the man I am today. It was things like treat others the way you want to be treated. Always stay humble and respectful. Trust God. Take things day by day. Never be complacent. Always strive for more. She always wanted me to have an education. Education was the biggest thing. Even though I left school early, I promised her I’ll finish school when my football career comes to a close.”

The leap

After primarily playing linebacker in 2019, Allgeier moved back to playing running back in 2020. That changed everything for him. That led him to running for over 1,110 yards in the next two seasons, including an extraordinary 1,601 yards in his final season at BYU. He credits his experience at linebacker with helping him become a more complete player.

“I believe playing linebacker helps me pick up blitzes,” Allgeier said. “Having that experience enhances my game for sure. I’m grateful to see both sides. I was able to do it all, especially pick up blitzes.”

Although his highlight reel is filled with mean runs and defenders failing to bring him down, Allgeier is much more than solely a power back. He wants to be known as a four-down player, which is something Terry Fontenot believes he is.

“I always felt like I got slept on when being referred to a first and second-down back, Allgeier said in response to Fontenot’s quote. “I thought I grew from that this past season. For example, they threw me a bunch of swing passes in our big win over USC. Even on fourth and five, I got the ball coming off a swing route and got the first down. This happened late in the season. It made us realize like damn, we should have done this sooner.”

“Having that on my resume is huge. Not only can I run the ball, but I can also catch passes and be trusted in pass protection. This is what I wanted in my game. I had to prove I can do that. It’s something I am now going to have to prove in the NFL. I’ll be working to be that complete back.”

The love for being physical and running through contact will forever be there. It’s something the 2021 Independence Bowl Offensive MVP fully embraces. Watching the likes of Jonathan Taylor, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, and Nick Chubb punish defenders regularly is inspiring to him. It shows that most of the premier running backs in the league are nasty, bruising runners.

“You need that run threat to get tough yards. Henry is a great fit to do that for the Titans. Chubb is a great fit to do that for the Browns. Hopefully, I’ll be that great fit to do that for the Falcons.”

What’s next

For the first time ever, an immediate opportunity to play is presenting itself for the fifth-round pick. The Falcons haven’t had a productive running game in several years, and Allgeier is looking to change that and is excited about the mention of playing with Cordarelle Patterson in 2022.

“I started watching his highlights last week right when I got on the team,” Allgeier expressed. “I know of the Falcons and a couple of their key players, but I haven’t exactly watched full games of them from last season. I didn’t really watch them growing up either. They weren’t my team.”

“Watching him (Patterson) from last season, man he’s a really good player. I think his overall game is great. I can’t wait to be on the field with him.”

As eye-opening as his stats at BYU are, Algeier doesn’t let it get to his head. His main priority is continuing to grow as a player and helping his team win. That mentality is one of the biggest reasons why coaches adore him. He wants to do everything he can to make sure his team can count on him. No matter what role he has as a rookie, Allgeier knows what matters most to him in 2022.

“Getting the playbook down, building relationships, and performing on the field is most important to me,” Allgeier declared. “I want to know my teammates and coaches well. Of course, I have to do everything to make the 53-man roster. Once I do that, I can do everything I can to help the Falcons win. The biggest thing for me is doing my part and contributing in any way I can. I’m going to be that ultimate team player. Whether I end up being the starter or the third-string back playing on special teams, I’m going to take that role and help the team win.”