Martinsburg native shines in NFL debut

By Stephen Baldwin, RealWV

Yesterday, Tyson Bagent led the Chicago Bears to a convincing victory as their starting quarterback over the Las Vegas Raiders. 

In Chicago and on national networks like FOX and ESPN, commentators are asking: Who is Tyson Bagent? Where did he come from? Can he sustain this early success?

And folks across West Virginia know that for Tyson, this is just what he does. He throws touchdowns and wins football games. 

Tyson graduated from Martinsburg High School in 2018 after being named the Gatorade Player of the Year in West Virginia. He went on to play college football at Shepherd University, a Division II program in the eastern panhandle, where he threw for over 500 yards and three touchdowns in his first game as a freshman. 

Over the course of four years, Tyson set a record for all NCAA divisions with 159 career touchdown passes. He was a two-time All-American and two-time winner of the Harlan Hill trophy, the Heiskan of Division II. Shepherd won 44 games including two trips to the national semifinals. 

Yet, Tyson went undrafted earlier this year. The Bears signed him as an ubdrafted free agent, and he turned heads by making the 53-man regular season roster as the third string quarterback. 

After injuries to the two quarterbacks ahead of him, Tyson stepped in last week towards the end of the game. This week, he got his chance as a starter. 

He went 21 for 29 and totaled 162 passing yards with one passing touchdown and 24 rushing yards. And the Bears, who have struggled mightily this year, got the win. 

After the game, Tyson was asked how he was able to pull it off? 

“I feel like I’ve played a million games at quarterback,” he said. “I started every game for seven straight years from high school through college. I’ve been blessed to have a lot of reps in my life.”

A large contingent of Tyson’s friends and family attended the game. He joked that paying for their tickets would eat into his paycheck this week. 

When asked how he would handle the new pressure moving forward he responded, “I’m a pretty grounded person. I like to keep it simple. You know it’s real easy to turn the phone off. That’s about all it takes.”

Justin Fields continues to nurse a dislocated finger, and it’s unclear if Tyson will be back under center as the starter next week or not. 

Stay tuned to RealWV for updates. 

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