With just over four minutes to go in the third quarter, Tyson Bagnet floated a five-yard pass to running back D’Onta Foreman coming out of the backfield. With a burst a speed, Foreman split two defenders and broke the plane for a Chicago Bears touchdown. This throw marked the first touchdown of Bangnet’s career on the way to a 30-6 rout of the Las Vegas Raiders. Tyson Bagnet might not be a familiar name to most NFL fans. In fact, up until a few weeks ago, it is unlikely that many people outside of the Bear’s organization could tell you who he was. However, that changed after his first game as quarterback when he became just one of four Division Two football players to start a game in the NFL in the last two decades.

Who is Tyson Bagnet? 

Bagnet’s journey to the  NFL didn’t start like your average quarterback. Despite throwing over 7000 yards with over 100 touchdowns in high school, he chose to forgo two Division One offers and play football at his parent’s alma mater, Shepherd University. 

“I chose Shepherd because I wanted to stay close to my family—having such young siblings, I didn’t want to basically go  four years of their lives without me being around a lot,” he told reporters.  Once the former West Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year reached campus, he proved he could dominate at the college level.  In a five-year career at Shepherd, he set the Division One record for passing yards and completions.  He also broke the NCAA’s record for passing touchdowns with 159.

Living the Dream 

Despite these monster numbers, Bagnet went undrafted in the 2023 draft,  but was signed as a free agent by the Bears to an NFL contract. Bagnet made the 53-man roster at the end of the summer and has served as the backup to starter Justin xf. In week 7, Bagnet made history, becoming the first rookie Division Two quarterback to win a game in the NFL since the fifties. In the win over the Raiders, he threw for 162 yards and one touchdown. He followed that up with 232 yards, with no touchdowns, in a 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.


Bagnet is set to start week nine against the Saints, and regardless of what is happening on the field, he knows that giving it everything he has will have a resounding impact outside of football. 

“Look how everything has fallen into place,” he told reporters before his first start. “Just nothing but extreme gratitude and feeling super blessed to be able to be that motivationa role in the younger people in my family. Be that person they can look up to and just motivation for everybody maybe at a smaller level and all the people at home.”

Before his first start, Bagnet let reporters into the mindset of how he will approach the game for as long as he is the starter.

“I’ve pretty much beat every odds that there was for me. So I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m going to go out there and fight with these guys to the death and try to stack up as many wins as I can until we get Justin back.”

The idea of having nothing to lose is pretty powerful in our everyday lives. Look at Bagnet; he started with nothing to lose and went after his dream. When we make that kind of commitment, we might have some challenges to deal with, but it’s all part of the adventure. Sometimes, the journey kicks off in a totally unexpected place, like a small Division II school in West Virginia, but who knows where it might take you. You could just end up at the top of your field; just ask Tyson Bagnet.