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How Tyler Allgeier got on the Atlanta Falcons’ radar

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BYU running back Tyler Allgeier, top center, reaches for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, in Pullman, Wash. Allgeier was a fifth-round draft pick by the Atlanta Falcons in April, and his record-setting game against Washington State helped him get noticed by some in the Falcons organization.

Young Kwak, Associated Press

One of Tyler Allgeier’s best games of the 2021 season — especially his late-game toughness — helped the former BYU running back get noticed by the Atlanta Falcons organization.

Months later, Allgeier found himself being picked by the Falcons in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL draft.

It was his performance against Washington State in 2021, though, that got the former Cougars walk-on squarely on Atlanta’s radar, as Falcons team writer Tori McElhaney explains in a recent article about what the team saw in him.

That game particularly stood out to Falcons area scout Joel Collier and Atlanta’s new running backs coach, Michael Pitre.

Against Washington State last October, Allgeier finished with a career-high 32 carries for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-19 BYU victory.

After Washington State cut the BYU lead to two points with 4:14 remaining, BYU needed to find a way to run out the clock, even with Washington State having all three of its timeouts.

Enter Allgeier.

On the ensuing drive, the bruising back carried the ball seven straight times for 51 yards, including converting a third-and-7 with a 9-yard run on his final carry.

In doing so, BYU was able to force Washington State to use all its timeouts and run out the clock.

“Everyone knew he was getting the ball and he was determined they came out of that game with a win,” first-year Falcons running backs coach Pitre told McElhaney. “I think that speaks to not only his physical toughness but his mental toughness, too.”

Now, Allgeier enters his rookie season joining a Falcons running backs room that includes veterans like Cordarrelle Patterson, Atlanta’s leading rusher last season, and Damien Williams. 

He’ll try to help turn around a moribund Falcons rushing attack that averaged just 85.4 rushing yards per game last season, second-worst in the league. Atlanta also averaged just 3.7 yards per carry, one of six teams to average fewer than four yards per carry. 

Allgeier’s toughness could put him in position to earn the shot at being the Falcons’ early-down back — 70.9% of his total rushing yards last season at BYU came after the initial contact, according to McElhaney.

“Guys have to make a business decision when they have to tackle him in the second half because of his style of play,” Pitre told McElhaney. “... They have to strap up their chin strap and helmet and make sure, ‘Hey, do we really want to do this through 60 minutes?’”