Will they turn pro? What BYU stars Tyler Allgeier and Gunner Romney said about their future plans
Two of the Cougars’ top offensive weapons can return to BYU if they want to, or declare for April’s NFL draft
SHREVEPORT, La. — If BYU football stars Tyler Allgeier and Gunner Romney know what their future plans are, they aren’t tipping their hands until after Saturday’s Independence Bowl against UAB.
vs. Alabama-Birmingham (8-4)
Dec. 18, 1:30 p.m. MST
Radio: KSL 1160 AM/102.7 FM
The running back and receiver represented BYU in Friday morning’s pregame news conference in the media room at Independence Stadium, along with head coach Kalani Sitake, and both players were asked if the 1:30 p.m. MST matchup will be their final games as Cougars.
Neither gave a definitive answer.
“Right now, I am not really focused on that,” said Romney, finishing up his fourth year in the program. “All the focus has been on preparing for this bowl game.
“Me and Tyler have talked about it a lot and it is really just (about) putting all our efforts into this game and we can decide afterwards. We got time for that afterwards,” Romney said.
“Me and Tyler (Allgeier) have talked about it a lot and it is really just (about) putting all our efforts into this game and we can decide afterwards. We got time for that afterwards.” — BYU receiver Gunner Romney on deciding to turn pro or return to BYU for another season
After hearing what Romney said, Allgeier simply concurred.
“Yeah, what Gunner said,” Allgeier said.
Asked if how they perform against the 8-4 Blazers will have any bearing on their decisions, both players shook their heads.
“We will see,” Romney said. “It is a decision I will make after the season, like I said before. So we will wait until then, see what happens.”
Allgeier, who is projected as a late-round NFL draft pick if he leaves early, said he is taking everything “game by game” and will talk to more people and look for more advice before deciding.
Romney missed three games with a knee strain, including the 35-31 win over USC on Nov. 27, but reiterated Friday that he’s healthy enough to play in the bowl game. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from Chandler, Arizona, said Friday his favorite receiver growing up was Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.
Romney has caught 31 passes for 539 yards and three touchdowns this season. His brother, Baylor, is a backup quarterback on the team, a factor that could play into his decision.
BYU All-America offensive guard Clark Barrington said last week that he is returning to Provo for at least another year; Running back Lopini Katoa said Thursday in Shreveport that he, also, plans to return in 2022.
As for Allgeier, he could become one of the most prolific running backs in BYU history if he chooses to return. He is listed as a sophomore on BYU’s roster, although he’s been in the program for four years.
Allgeier can break several BYU single-season rushing records with another standout performance on Saturday.
He is No. 2 in single-season rushing touchdowns with 22, two behind Luke Staley, who had 24 in 2001.
Staley had 1,582 rushing yards that season to set the standard in that category. Allgeier is No. 2 with 1,409, having passed Pete Van Valkenburg (1,386 in 1972), Jamaal Williams (1,375 in 2016) and Taysom Hill (1,344 in 2013) with a 111-yard effort against USC.
On BYU’s career rushing yardage list, Allgeier currently ranks No. 7 with 2,707 yards. Williams’ 3,901 is tops. Allgeier’s average of 6.37 yards per carry is the best ever at BYU.
“All my success is attributed to the team,” Allgeier said. “We had that great year last year, and we backed it up this year. … It was just about trusting the guy next to you, trusting the guy below you (on the depth chart), and balling out with everybody.”