Texas transfer offensive lineman Willie Tyler announced his commitment to Syracuse on Thursday. The 6-7, 335-pound lineman could have a significant impact on the Orange's offensive line next season.
You can't teach talent and Willie Tyler certainly has that. As a junior college prospect, he had his share of offers, including from the likes of Texas and West Virginia. Those programs offered for a reason. A player at his size and moves as well as he did at the junior college level is not common. He has tremendous strength and drives defenders using his powerful legs. Tyler is able to get to the second level as well. He looks the part of an SEC caliber offensive tackle. Adding someone like that is big for Syracuse.
As we learned last season, you can never have enough depth along the offensive line. Syracuse was riddled by injuries last season to the point where Chris Elmore, a fullback, had to convert to guard. Adding players like Tyler and Chris Bleich to that group will, along with those returning and incoming freshman, Syracuse will have a much deeper offensive line group than a year ago. Tyler's addition, since has the versatility to play tackle or guard, helps with depth all over the line. The more talented players you have the better, and Tyler certainly helps that.
Syracuse has a variety of options along the offensive line with Tyler's addition. If Tyler wins one of the starting tackle spots, it allows Airon Servais to move back to center where he was very good during the Orange's 10 win 2018 season. If Tyler does not win one of tackle spots, he has the ability to slide inside. With Chris Bleich likely starting as one of the guards, Tyler could move inside and be the other. Another option is Tyler grabs a starting tackle job and Servais stays at the other tackle with Matthew Bergeron as the primary reserve. Tyler could also be the primary tackle and/or guard reserve providing quality depth. Tyler is a significant addition not only because of his talent, but because of all of the options he provides new offensive line coach Mike Schmidt.