Tyler Allgeier used to push carts, now he scores touchdowns for the Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier worked at the Wal-Mart in Provo, Utah, pushing carts as a freshman while he was a preferred walk-on at BYU.

He was trying to help his mother, Ester, as he was waiting for his chance to get on the field.

“Pushing carts, I respect everyone that does that,” said Allgeier, who went on to earn a scholarship and turn into one of the nation’s top running backs. “It’s a selfless act, selfless job because everyone doesn’t say thank you sometimes.”

There were additional duties, too.

“You just had to make sure the whole area was neat, clean and the carts are back together and stuff,” Allgeier said. “It was cool.”

Now Allgeier is one of the top rookie running backs in the NFL for the Falcons (5-9), who are set to play the Ravens (9-5) at 1 p.m. Saturday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

“Pushing carts was an enjoyable thing. Just had to get money to help Mom so that she didn’t have to worry about me when she was paying for school,” Allgeier said. “All I had was football. I might as well try and get some money to help my mom out so I wouldn’t have to ask for money if I wanted to do stuff. Getting that stuff off her list of stuff to do. Just trying to do the best to do what I could to not let her worry about me and stuff.”

After he rushed for 139 yards on 17 carries against the Saints on Sunday, he called his mother in Fontana, Calif.

“I always call her after games and stuff,” Allgeier said. “She was excited for me. I just try to make her and my family proud.”

The Falcons heavily scouted the running backs in the 2022 NFL draft.

They contemplated selecting one in the early rounds and really liked Michigan State’s Kenny Walker. Iowa State’s Breece Hall went first. He was selected in the second round (36th overall) by the Jets. Walker went to Seattle five picks after Hall.

The Falcons liked Walker because he had the most broken tackles among the prospects for the draft. They kept an eye on Allgeier, who had the second-most broken tackles. When he was still available in the fifth round, the Falcons pulled the trigger at the 151st pick.

“I think to Tyler’s credit, I mean, what we were excited about him coming out of BYU, a really smart player, instinctual,” Falcons coach Arthur Smith said Monday. “It’s a lot of things you saw on the tape at BYU have translated. He’s a hard guy to bring down, tough runner. He’s got instincts.”

Already having Cordarrelle Patterson and Caleb Huntley, the Falcons were able to ease Allgeier into the action.

“Not having to take every single carry early on,” Smith said. “You’re splitting it, whether it was CP early or even Caleb. And I think that helps, too. As you can spread out the carries where our guy is not sitting there at 300 carries right now. (That) certainly can help any player – and let alone a rookie. But he was very productive (against the Saints), and he has been.”

With three games to play, Allgeier is the second-leading rusher of the drafted rookie running backs. He has 743 yards on 148 carries and two touchdowns.

Houston’s Dameon Pierce, who played at Bainbridge High and Florida, leads with 939 yards on 220 carries and four touchdowns. The Texans may have overused Pierce, who is set to finish the season on injured reserve with a high ankle sprain.

Hall also was off to a good start, before suffering a season-ending injury. He had 80 carries for 464 yards and four touchdowns for the Jets.

Walker has rushed 150 times for 696 yards and nine touchdowns for the Seahawks. Washington’s Brian Robinson, who was selected in the third round (98th overall), has rushed 159 times for 652 yards and two touchdowns.

The Falcons could have taken Walker with the 38th pick, but went with outside linebacker Arnold Ebiketie. Walker was drafted three picks later.

The Falcons elected to go the Bobby Turner route and take a running back later in the draft. Turner, a longtime assistant coach for Mike and Kyle Shanahan, has scouted running backs for years and has found success late in the drafts regularly.

Kansas City also hit late in this year’s draft at running back with Isiah Pacheco, who has rushed 139 times for 677 yards and three touchdowns. He was selected in the seventh round (251st overall).

Huntley suffered a ruptured Achilles against the Saints and will miss the rest of the season. The Falcons have B.J. Baylor on the practice squad, but may just roll with the one-two punch of Allgeier and Patterson. They can occasionally mix in a dose of Avery Williams.

“We’ve actually been a little heavy with running backs because Avery does so many different things for us, and CP plays multiple roles,” Smith said. “We’ll have to look at it once we put the game plan in and whether we carry an extra backup. Certainly, we’ve got other guys that can move the football in the run game, but we’ll just have to see what the plan is.”

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Atlanta Falcons 2022 schedule

Sept. 11: Saints 27, Falcons 26

Sept. 18: Rams 31, Falcons 27

Sept. 25 Falcons 27, Seahawks 23

Oct. 2 Falcons 23, Browns 20

Oct. 9 Buccaneers 21, Falcons 15

Oct. 16 Falcons 28, 49ers 14

Oct. 23 Bengals 35, Falcons 17

Oct. 30 Falcons 37, Panthers 34 OT

Nov. 6 Chargers 20, Falcons 17

Nov. 10 Panthers 25, Falcons 15

Nov. 20 Falcons 27, Bears 24

Nov. 27 Commanders 19, Falcons 13

Dec. 4 Steelers 19, Falcons 16


Dec. 18 Saints 21, Falcons 18

Dec. 24 at Baltimore, 1 p.m.

Jan. 1 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m.

Jan. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, TBD

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