Bears’ quarterback, Tyson Bagent: All Things You Need to Know

Who is Tyson Bagent? Here is what you need to know about the Bears’ quarterback, who will make his second career start against the Chargers in Week 8.

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The Chicago Bears emerged victorious over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, securing a 30-12 win. In a surprising turn of events, Tyson Bagent, who was filling in for the injured Justin Fields, made his first career start as quarterback. Bagent showcased his skills by completing 21 of 29 throws for 162 yards and a touchdown.

Additionally, he gained 24 yards on three carries. It is worth noting that Bagent, a graduate of Shepherd University, holds the distinction of being the first quarterback from a Division II school to start an NFL game since Jon Kitna in Week 15 of the 2010 season.

Despite initial doubts about Fields’ availability for the Bears’ Week 8 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers on “Sunday Night Football,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus announced on Monday that Bagent will once again assume the role of starting quarterback. If you’re unfamiliar with Bagent, don’t worry, as you’re not alone.

This article provides all the essential information about this undrafted rookie, including his backup plan had the NFL not panned out. Bagent’s impressive debut in Week 7 may pave the way for an extended stint in the NFL as a reliable backup quarterback, a position that can be quite lucrative.

High school and college

Bagent completed his high school education at Martinsburg High School in West Virginia before making the decision to transfer to Shepherd University from 2018 to 2022. Upon joining as a freshman, he swiftly secured the position of starting quarterback for the Shepherd Rams. In his inaugural game, he showcased his exceptional skills by throwing for an impressive 518 yards, completing 36 out of 54 passes with three touchdowns. This remarkable performance earned him a well-deserved spot in the college record books.

Throughout his college career, Bagent’s achievements continued to shine. He proudly boasts two first-team DII All-American titles, along with the esteemed recognition of being named the Mountain East Conference (MEC) Offensive Player of the Week. Additionally, he received the prestigious honor of being selected as a first-team All-MEC player. These accolades further solidify his exceptional talent and dedication to the sport.

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He set the NCAA record for the most touchdown passes in a career (159) and broke over 20 school records, such as the most touchdowns responsible for in a single game (7), the most games with 300+ passing yards in a single season (11), the most passing yards in a single season (5,000), and the most touchdown passes in a career (159).

Bagent participated in the NFL Combine post-college but did not get selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears signed him as an undrafted free agent, and he secured a spot on the 53-man roster by the end of the preseason.

Initially the team’s third-string quarterback, Bagent moved up to the backup position after Fields got injured, with seasoned backup Nathan Peterman ahead of him. He made his NFL debut in Week 6 against the Minnesota Vikings, going 10-for-14 for 83 yards, one rushing touchdown, one interception, and one fumble.

Bagent’s arm-wrestling champion dad

Bagent hails from a family with a strong athletic background, with his father, Travis, being a renowned professional arm wrestler who has clinched the championship title a remarkable 17 times. Travis holds the belief that he is unrivaled in the sport and has instilled in his son a mindset focused on athleticism.

“Super hands-on and super competitive,” Tyson said (via ESPN), describing his dad.

Travis Bagent embarked on his journey as an arm wrestler during his time at Shepherd University. Over the course of his illustrious professional career, he has triumphed in more than 15 international and 25 national championships. Not only has he showcased his skills on the reality show “Game of Arms,” but he has also been featured in the documentary “Pulling John.” It is worth mentioning that Jerry Boyd, Bagent’s grandfather, also left his mark as a champion arm wrestler.

Tyson expressed his foresight in pursuing a career in the NFL, attributing his strong work ethic to the influence of his father. This invaluable trait played a significant role in shaping his path to success.

“Yeah, oddly I always thought it was gonna happen,” Bagent said of having an athletic career. “I think really me and my dad were the only ones who thought this was gonna happen. After that, it was just figuring out how I could outwork everybody that maybe had more things than I did.”

If football did not work out, Tyson had a backup plan, saying he would, “… Crossfit my life away … just get as ripped and jacked as I possibly could and be a teacher at Martinsburg High School.” Instead of going with his backup plan, Tyson is a backup quarterback.