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Tyler Allgeier: Will he stay or will he go?

If the prolific running back returns to BYU for another season he could become the GOAT

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BYU running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates a touchdown as BYU and UAB play in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl.

BYU running back Tyler Allgeier celebrates a touchdown against UAB in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. The BYU running back is mulling his future: return for another year at BYU or head off for the NFL?

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Masen Wake’s post-soggy-bowl weekend Christmas wish echoed like a seasonal carol when the big BYU fullback took to Twitter to proclaim to the world: “All I want for Christmas is 1 more year with Tyler Allgeier.”

That’s a reasonable desire if one is embedded in the BYU football camp. For Wake, an effective blocker for Allgeier, he’s got skin in the game and why wouldn’t he want the nation’s leading touchdown rusher to return and play another year of college football?

Allgeier, however, should put his name in for a chance to play at the next level — if the NFL values him.

If NFL projections do not reward him for that move, he ought to really consider returning to BYU and become the GOAT, the greatest of all time behind an offensive line that is basically all back in 2022 with Mr. Wake.

To the NFL, he ought to say give me coin or I’ll be fully committed to seek a big NIL deal, obtain an insurance policy against possible injury, and demolish BYU’s records that define production by a running back.

And, he can likely get all of that upon returning to Provo.

The Allgeier story, a walk-on athlete raised by a single mother, a linebacker turned running back, is a tale you couldn’t make up. It’s the stuff of Hollywood. What’s the next chapter?

Another teammate, defensive back Chaz Ah You, took to Twitter to ask somebody to come up with at least a $200K NIL deal for Allgeier to return. The hard press to lobby for Allgeier to return is full-on inside the locker room.

Right now, Allgeier’s 23 rushing touchdowns leads the NCAA, yet he was not a Doak Walker Award finalist.

That insult alone, after carrying a big load in a 6-1 mark over Power Five teams, which included a 5-0 record against Pac-12 teams and wins over the Mountain West (Utah State) and Pac-12 (Utah) champions, should be reason for Allgeier to return with something to prove.

Allgeier’s 23 touchdown runs is tied nationally with Marshall’s Rasheen Ali, who didn’t come close to playing the same competition as independent BYU did in 2021. The 23 TDs is three more than the next group that includes Iowa State’s Breece Hall, Michigan’s Hassan Haskins and Utah’s Tavion Thomas (20).

His school-record 1,601 rushing yards surpassed the single-season record of Doak Walker winner Luke Staley and established himself as the No. 1 college rusher in the state of Utah’s major college ranks, ahead of Staley.

After his 192 yards and three touchdowns in the Independence Bowl, Allgeier closes the season as the No. 4 rusher in the country. His total yards rushing this season would have surpassed the 2020 NCAA leading rusher, Hall of Iowa State (1,472).

How does Allgeier’s 2021 season stack up in BYU’s record book?

Staley is now No. 2 with 1,582 (2001) followed by NCAA rushing title winner in 1972, Pete Van Valkenburg (1,386), current Detroit Lions running back Jamaal Williams (1,375), current New Orleans Saints starting QB Taysom Hill (1,344 in 2013), Ronney Jenkins (1,307 in 1998), and his own position coach Harvey Unga, who gained 1,227 in 2007.

As for a possible quest to become the all-time leading rusher at BYU, if Allgeier returned for another year he would need 1,002 yards or 83.5 yards a game to reach that mark based on 12 games. He averaged 123.2 a game against one of the school’s toughest schedules in a very long time.

If he did so, he would surpass Jamal Willis, Curtis Brown and Unga, and dethrone the all-time king Williams.

That is so doable for Allgeier and is within his reach, as is obtaining a college degree in the process.

But he could also get injured and not have the benefit of an NFL contract with some guaranteed money if he stayed at BYU.

But, then again, if he is not respected by the NFL more than he seems to be right now, why not come back to BYU?   

In PPF’s preseason Top 100 draft prospects released before the season, Allgeier was listed No. 100. 

PPF’s evaluation included this: “Allgeier had the highest overall rushing grade of any returning back in the country. He averaged a ridiculous 7.6 yards per carry, of which 4.7 came after contact last season. He’s a hulking 220 pounds and the definition of a one-cut runner.”

Back in September, draft analyst Ian Cummings wrote, “Allgeier undoubtedly has a desirable athletic profile. The BYU RB brings exceptional overall mobility, and he also has great size at around 5-11, 220 pounds. For his size, Allgeier brings superb explosiveness in open space. When he has a runway, he’s hard to catch. Allgeier can hit a second gear and get around the edge with speed. He also has smooth lateral elusiveness, making guys miss and adjusting his rushing angles with ease.

“Going further with Allgeier’s mobility, the BYU RB has supreme looseness in his hips. He can quickly execute misleading double moves to adjust angles, and he has some measured twitch when running through congestion. He possesses fairly good balance in and out of cuts. He’s a shifty runner, and he’s reasonably slippery through weak tackles.”

All the positives in those previews proved fairly accurate during the season.

A compilation of eight mock draft experts averages Allgeier as a fifth-round pick, 151st overall. The highest, by Bleacher Report, is the 44th player taken. The worst is 289th by Sports Talk’s Sam Teets.

In other words, Allgeier’s stock is all over the place. He really needs to get an evaluation that gives him accurate information. Then he should talk it over with his family, friends and advisers, and his position coach Unga, who left BYU early for the NFL.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake will always counsel Allgeier to take care of himself first.

But his teammates could make a real case for him to return to their locker room for a GOAT run.

Stay tuned.