‘He is the same person’: On the brink of an NFL career, Tyler Allgeier’s best trait these days is never changing

After wrapping up Pro Day, the former BYU running back is projected as a mid-round draft pick

(Jared Wilkey | BYU) Tyler Allgeier worked out at BYU's Pro Day on March 25, 2022. He is projected as a mid-round draft pick in the NFL Draft.

Provo • Around here, all you have to do is mention “the play” and people know exactly what you are talking about.

“Shoot, I still get asked about it,” Tyler Allgeier said with a laugh.

Of course, the play everyone is referencing is the one when Allgeier chased down an Arizona State defender 15 yards in front of him last year. He jumped in the air off one foot and clawed the ball out with a tomahawk punch. It was the type of effort that would have made even Pat Tillman blush. So much so that Allgeier became an instant celebrity, with Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors leading his fan club.

“Oh yes, I remember that,” Ester Allgeier, his mother, said, who isn’t afraid to rib her son. “I remember he missed a block on that play, too.

“But what I remember most is Tyler just walking away from it like nothing happened. Just doing his job. He has never changed through all the celebrity. He’s the same person.”

For all the plays Allgeier made in his record-setting career at BYU, it’s that last part that sticks with everyone the most. He hasn’t changed much as a person. Not as he went from a walk-on to the face of BYU’s program. Not as he rushed for 23 touchdowns and became an NFL prospect. And not even as he got a burger created for him at Backdoor BRGR— called the “The Hammer” in honor of the play he made to punch the ball out.

“You know the burger was probably the weirdest thing,” Ester said of the item served with a fried egg, honey barbecue sauce, fried onion rings, mushrooms and pepper jack cheese. “But he was even [humble] about that.”

And now as Allgeier is on the precipice of an NFL career, going through Pro Day today, his unchanging personality is what people closest to him call his best trait for what comes next. Everyone typically struggles with being on the verge of fame and achievement. But people don’t worry about Allgeier. He’s been through it before.

“You know the day after that play, he was in church in my ward at 1 p.m. sitting in the back like nothing happened,” BYU’s pro liaison Jasen Ah You said. “I thought, ‘That’s just Tyler.’ Everyone else is like, ‘How am I going to get to church the next day, we get in at 4 am? And Tyler is sitting in the back with sweats on.”

If there was anyone that could have changed as a person in their career, it is Allgeier. He started as a preferred walk-on, working as a cart-pusher at Walmart just to pay for school.

He never begged for a scholarship, but eventually it became a problem. He told the coaching staff he would have to transfer closer to home if he couldn’t get a full-ride. He knew working from 5 p.m. until closing every night, rounding up shopping carts in a parking lot, wasn’t sustainable.

But even when the scholarship was figured out, his football career wasn’t always simple. He started at linebacker after he couldn’t break into the running back depth chart.

Eventually, he moved to running back and played sparingly, gaining 119 yards in a single season. It wasn’t until last season, when he rushed for 1,601 yards and a program-record 23 touchdowns, when he truly emerged as an NFL-caliber talent. Going into the season, BYU coach Kalani Sitake wasn’t even sure he would start.

“If you remember, there wasn’t really a deadline when Tyler took over as the starter,” Sitake said. “It just kind of happened.”

(Jared Wilkey/ BYU) Tyler Allgeier catches a pass at BYU's Pro Day.

Overnight, Allgeier became a projected mid-round draft pick. He was BYU’s lone representative at the NFL Combine. And he was the undoubted headliner of BYU’s Pro Day, where 29 of 32 teams came to watch him play.

“He struggled a lot to get here,” Grminia Allgeier, his grandmother, said.

Perhaps the most telling thing about Pro Day for Allgeier had nothing to do with his performance. After all, he only did the bench press. He opted out of the rest of drills. He thinks his draft stock is high enough to skip the rest of the drills.

But once all the scouts had left, Allgeier went over to his family away from all the cameras and reporters. He hugged his mother and grandmother in attendance. And then he eventually meandered his way back to a beat-up Ford Ranger pickup.

It is an old car from his grandfather, according to his grandmother. And while most of Allgeier’s teammates drive cars from NIL deals, he opted to keep with the old. He wants to be the same person. It is the reason, his family says, he will be ready for what comes next in the NFL.