Syracuse added more talent to its 2021 recruiting class yesterday. After over three months of contact, SU reeled in Texas offensive line transfer Willie Tyler. He entered the transfer portal back in mid-January after redshirting at UT in 2019, and not playing in 2020 (opt-out). Tyler stands 6-foot-7, 335 pounds, and is the third transfer commit in the ‘21 class.
The former Big 12 lineman is from Racine, Wisconsin and attended Racine Lutheran High School. If you know anything about offensive lineman and recruiting, you know that the Badger state is where the talent is bred.
Tyler originally played at Case High School in his hometown, but transferred following his freshman season. At Racine Lutheran, Tyler’s new school, he predominantly played on the defensive side of the line. As a senior, he racked up 45 tackles (23 solo), 11 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three blocked kicks, and a pair of INT’s.
Although Tyler was well versed in the D-line position, he wanted to switch to the other side of the line. To do that, he took his talents to NJCAA powerhouse Iowa Western Community College. Tyler was originally committed to play at Garden City Community College, but opted for a new destination upon a coaching change.
After learning the ins and outs of the offensive line, Tyler helped the Reivers to a 10-1 record and Graphic Edge Bowl Championship. After one year of blocking on the O-line, Tyler developed into a Power Five recruit. He was rated 137th best JUCO prospect in the nation by the 247sports.com composite. Tyler earned a 3 star ranking and the 24th best OT prospect. He earned offers from SMU, West Virginia, Louisiana Tech, and Texas.
Tyler ended up committing and signing to former UT Head Coach Tom Herman. Things didn’t pan out in Austin, TX and he ended up transferring following last season’s 7-3 record that saw Herman fired and Steve Sarkisian hired from Alabama.
Tyler comes to Syracuse with three years of eligibility remaining, and after earning his undergraduate degree at Texas can come to the Salt City and play immediately. We released our projections for how the two-deep would look at the end of spring practice last week and feel good about what SU has on the o-line.
If nothing else, Tyler provides depth this year and maybe competes for a backup role. Next season, he can step in and fight to win the vacancy left by Aaron Servais, but he’ll have to battle with guys like Enrique Cruz or Jakob Bradford to win that job.