The Chicago Bears beat the Las Vegas Raiders 30-12 on Sunday with Tyson Bagent making his first career start at quarterback, filling in for the injured Justin Fields. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 162 yards and one TD and added 24 yards rushing on three carries. Bagent, an alum of Shepherd University, became the first quarterback from a Division II school to start an NFL game since Jon Kitna all the way back in Week 15 of the 2010 season. With Bears head coach Matt Eberflus calling Justin Fields "doubtful" for the Bears Week 8 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers on "Sunday Night Football", according to the Chicago Tribune, he confirmed on Monday that Bagent will be their starting quarterback once again.
If you don't know much about Bagent, don't worry, because you are probably not alone. We have you covered with everything you need to know about the undrafted rookie, including what he would have done if the NFL didn't work out for him. Fortunately for Bagent, his Week 7 start could give him some extended run in the pro's as a low-key backup quarterback, a cushy gig.
High school and college
Bagent went to Martinsburg High School in West Virginia before attending Shepherd from 2018 to 2022. He became the starting quarterback for the Shepherd Rams as a freshman and in his first game with the team he threw for 518 yards, going 36-for-54 with three touchdowns, putting himself in the record books at the college.
His resume includes being a two-time first-team DII All-American, Mountain East Conference (MEC) Offensive Player of the Week and first-team All-MEC.
He holds the NCAA record for most touchdown passes in a career (159) -- a record for all divisions -- and holds over 20 school records, including most touchdowns responsible for in a single game (7), most games with 300+ passing yards in a single season (11), most passing yards in a single season (5,000) and most touchdown passes in a career (159).
After college, Bagent participated in the NFL Combine, but was not selected in the 2023 NFL Draft. He was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears and made the 53-man roster at the conclusion of the preseason.
Pick Six Newsletter
Crafted By The Best NFL Experts
Get the day's big stories + fun stuff you love like mock drafts, picks and power rankings.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Bagent joined the team as the third string QB behind starter Fields and veteran backup Nathan Peterman. He was named the backup and made his NFL debut in Week 6 at home against the Minnesota Vikings after Fields went out with an injury.
In his NFL debut, he went 10-for-14 with 83 yards, one rushing touchdown, one interception and one fumble.
Bagent's arm-wrestling champion dad
Bagent comes from an athletic family and his father Travis -- nicknamed 'The Beast' -- is a 17-time champion professional arm wrestler. Travis sees himself as the greatest in the sport and raised his son with an athletic focus.
"Super hands-on and super competitive," Tyson said (via ESPN), describing his dad.
Travis Bagent started competing as an arm-wrestler while playing baseball at Shepherd. He has won over 15 world and 25 national championships as a professional during his career. He has been featured in the reality series "Game of Arms" and the documentary "Pulling John." Bagent's grandfather, Jerry Boyd, was also a champion arm wreslter.
Tyson said he did foresee his NFL career and the work ethic he learned from his father was a major focus on his journey.
"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.