Former Texas Longhorns offensive tackle Willie Tyler won’t be donning burnt orange in 2021, but he’ll still be in another shade of orange, as the former JUCO product announced on Thursday that he’s committed to the Syracuse Orange.
“First off, I want to start off by saying than youth God! Also, thank you to Herman, Hand, and Jake Langi for believing in me and giving me an opportunity here,” Tyler wrote. “To all of my brothers at UT it will always be love! I’m thankful for y’all the most for brining me in like family from day 1. I’ll meet y’all at the top!”
This decision comes nearly three months after Tyler entered his name into the transfer portal in mid-January.
A fourth-year player in 2021, Tyler was a late addition to the 2019 recruiting class by the Longhorns after spending one season at Iowa Western. Originally from Wisconsin, Tyler played defensive line in high school and signed with Garden City CC in 2017, but left the program before appearing in a game. The next season at Iowa Western, Tyler made the transition to the offensive line.
So the 6’7, 335-pounder arrived in Austin as a raw prospect and redshirted during the 2019 season. And then Tyler made the decision to opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, one of four players in the Texas program to do so.
Following the 2020 campaign, several younger offensive linemen emerged as starters and right guard Denzel Okafor decided to return for his sixth season. Derek Kerstetter, who started at center in 2020 until his scary injury against Kansas State, is also returning, so it certainly made sense for Tyler to leave the program in pursuit of playing time.
Now, he’ll get his chance at Syracuse.