Division II QB Tyson Bagent Steals The Show At Senior Bowl, And So Does His Arm Wrestling Champion Dad

MOBILE, Alabama - When you are the first quarterback in the 73-year history of the Senior Bowl from 3,159-enrollment Shepherd University in 1,494-population Shepherdstown, West Virginia, you have to think big.

And that's exactly what Tyson Bagent did Saturday afternoon in the Senior Bowl at Hancock Whitney Stadium, which seats eight times more than Shepherd's student body total.

Tyson Bagent Put On A Passing Clinic At Senior Bowl

Bagent completed 17 of 22 passes (77 percent) for 124 yards for the American team in a 27-10 loss to the National team. He displayed elusiveness in and out of the pocket and very good accuracy throughout the game before an interception late in the game.

For Division II Shepherd, Bagent (6-foot-3, 210) also completed 70 percent of his passes last season. He hit 400 of 572 for 4,580 yards and 41 touchdowns for the 13-2 Rams, who reached the Division II playoffs semifinals.

"He has a chance to be selected in one of the late rounds," Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy said.


Bagent is already the first Shepherd University player to participate in the elite Manning Passing Academy in Hammond, Louisiana, last summer.

Tyson Bagent Has Mixed With QB Giants Of College Football

"It was great being able to hang out with top caliber quarterbacks, realizing they put on their socks and underwear the same way that I do," he said before a practice on Wednesday. "The ball spun out my hand just like it did everybody else's."

The quarterbacks at the Manning camp included Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, who finished third for the Heisman Trophy last December, Alabama's Bryce Young, Tennessee's Hendon Hooker, Kentucky's Will Levis, Mississippi State's Will Rogers and Arkansas' K.J. Jefferson.

Bagent noticed the same thing at Senior Bowl practices this week that included Max Duggan, who finished second in the Heisman race for TCU. Duggan completed 4 of 9 passes for 26 yards Saturday.

"I can play with these guys," Bagent said. "I expect to be drafted."

One can sense Bagent's quiet confidence and where it originates. That would be his father, Travis Bagent, a national and world champion arm wrestler. The NFL Network repeatedly captured the elder Bagent watching the game in the stands with his family as well as arm wrestling with an NFL Network announcer.

"I'm the strongest left-handed human being that's ever lived," Bagent said on WNSP-Radio Wednesday at the Mobile Convention Center while his son was being interviewed in the next room. "I can beat anybody in the ballroom."

And it's not bragging if it's the truth. Travis Bagent is a semi-retired, multi-time national and world champion left-handed arm wrestler, who also has claimed right-handed titles. Bagent played baseball at Shepherd before focusing on arm wrestling.


"I'm a little closer to Tom Brady than Joe Burrow," Bagent, 46, said moments after Brady announced his retirement. "I still compete in the legend category and do some broadcasting at arm wrestling events. It was a tremendous 20-year run. Now, my son is about to do some great things as well."

Not quite as brashly, but with a lot of confidence.

Tyson Bagent Has A Quieter Confidence

"No, I don't think anybody in the world has as much confidence as my dad, honestly," the younger Bagent said. "I think he has an unreal sense of confidence. You can never tell if he's down on himself because he doesn't allow anybody to see it. That's how it has to be."

Bagent did not have a great day on the first day of practices on Tuesday, but improved significantly throughout the week.

"I have a lot of confidence, but not exactly how he does it, because he's a little more outspoken," he said. "I have a sense of confidence because of the preparation I put in and that makes you believe in yourself."

It also helps when you just finished a practice at Shepherd University last fall, and this guy you met at the Manning Passing Academy walks up to you. That was Nagy with an invite to the Senior Bowl.

"Jim Nagy from the Senior Bowl surprised me me after a Wednesday practice in front of my teammates and coaching staff," Bagent said. "I didn't know he was coming. It was a very surreal moment. I felt very honored. It was inspiring for my teammates, too. No matter where you're from, if you're good enough, the NFL will come find you. It's a blessing to be here."

Bagent's teammate, offensive lineman Joey Fisher, also got a Senior Bowl invite. He will miss the game with an injury, though.

Senior Bowl Has Been Emotional For Tough Guy Arm Wrestler

Travis Bagent has been so proud this week, he cried. Yes, the man they called "The Beast" in arm wrestling circles was reduced to tears.

"I cried a few times," he said. "I had to go to the bathroom and compose myself. I came back out and told everybody he was the best player here. Just a lot of emotions."

And Travis knows he made the right call after his son tried his hand at arm wrestling a few times as a young child.

"At about eight years old, he started tossing that football around," dad said. "So we knew were going to protect that ulnar ligament."

So there will be no Bagent Vs. Bagent arm wrestling events.

"Yeah, I've arm wrestled him, just goofing around," Tyson said. "I competed when I was a little kid. I told him I'd rather stick to team sports. I really had fun watching him, and I get my confidence from him. There's no question."

Written by
Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests. A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention. Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at www.acadianhouse.com, Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.