A running back's top priority is to find space, whether it’s behind a duo block up the middle or a slanting outside-zone run toward the sideline. Simply put, the ball-carrier needs to read the big boys and hit a hole.
Oftentimes, that means remaining calm, cool and confident when space is limited. The best backs are the ones who stay comfortable in claustrophobic situations at the line of scrimmage and move forward, knowing that there's open field just beyond the chaos.
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BYU Cougars running back Tyler Allgeier has become a veteran at operating in close quarters. The redshirt sophomore is having a career year, handling 249 carries for 1,417 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He ranks sixth in the Power Five in rushing yards, third in yards after contact and first in rushing touchdowns. He’s also top 10 in forced missed tackles (68) and explosive runs (36).
Tyler Allgeier since 2020
|PFF Rushing Grade||94.1||2nd|
|Yds After Contact||1,683||1st|
|Missed Tackles Forced||111||4th|
*Ranks among Power Five running backs with 200-plus carries since 2020
It marks the second year in a row that Allgeier has far exceeded expectations. Perhaps part of the reason he continues to stand out in a crowd is that the close-quarters role of a running back feels like home. Because that was home.
“Grew up in a one-story household with mom, grandma, nana, uncle and sister,” Allgeier said in an exclusive with PFF. “Then a couple dogs. That was home right there. One story under one roof.”
The BYU lead running back grew up in Fontana, California, a town that sits about an hour outside of Los Angeles. As Allgeier got older, rather than have him hanging around an already packed house all day, his mother introduced him to sports — all of them. He played basketball in the spring, football in the fall, soccer in the winter and then baseball in the summer.
Eventually, it came time for him to focus on one, and that, as you might have guessed, was football. The results were favorable. Allgeier made a name for himself at Kaiser High School, where he still holds records. He rushed for more than 5,000 yards in his high school career, with 2,470 yards and 29 touchdowns coming in his senior season. As of today, he remains the school's all-time leading rusher.
But while Allgeier was recognized in his local community, the recruiting renown didn’t follow.
“Honestly it was pretty tough,” Allgeier said. “It was kind of late where I got my actual first offer, and it was to a D2 in Southern Nazarene. Southern Nazarene ended up giving me a half scholarship. … If I didn’t get an offer, then for sure it would’ve been the JUCO route. The dream was always to get my school paid for, help mom out.”
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