What to know about Bears backup quarterback Tyson Bagent
When the Bears play the Las Vegas Raiders at Soldier Field on Sunday, fans will most likely see an undrafted rookie under center.
What's happening: Backup quarterback Tyson Bagent is lined up to start for the injured Justin Fields, and Bears fans haven't been this excited since the Chad Hutchinson era.
Reality check: Wait, Tyson who? The QB's name is pronounced BAY-gent. It rhymes with agent, like, "This kid must have a great agent, since he's the only Division II quarterback currently playing in the NFL."
Flashback: The Bears cut veteran PJ Walker in the preseason to give the backup quarterback slot to Bagent.
- Walker ended up in Cleveland and led the Browns to an upset over the undefeated 49ers last Sunday.
Here's what you should know about Bagent ahead of his first NFL game:
His home state: West Virginia. He played at Shepherd University. There, he set the NCAA record (all divisions) for passing touchdowns.
Fun fact: He won the Harlon Hill award, which is like the Heisman Trophy of division II football.
- Harlon Hill was a star on the Bears in the '50s and '60s.
The intrigue: Word has it that Bagent chose to stay in Division II instead of transferring to a bigger program school, like Maryland or West Virginia.
His vibe: "He's got this moxie," said Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham. Several players talked about his confidence and swagger.
- Also, with several tattoos down his left arm and across most of his torso, he's the first Bears starting QB in recent memory with a sleeve tattoo.
Winning culture: Most quarterbacks have family who have excelled at sports. Bagent is no different. His father, Travis Bagent, is a 17-time arm wrestling world champion.
Non-football plans: The Athletic asked him about what he'd be doing if he didn't sign with an NFL team.
- "I was going to basically just CrossFit my life away, get as ripped and jacked as I possibly could and be a teacher at Martinsburg High School."
The bottom line: It's unclear whether his unexpected path to the NFL will win him games, but it does make it fun to root for him.
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