411OnTheForty: Willie Tyler becomes third Longhorn to opt out of 2020 season

21 Aug By
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The challenges facing Texas head coach Tom Herman now include a depleted roster as sophomore offensive lineman Willie Tyler became the third Longhorn to opt out of the 2020 season (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

Sophomore offensive lineman Willie Tyler announced his decision Wednesday to opt out of the upcoming season, which leaves an already-inexperienced offensive line a bit weaker.

Tyler, came to Austin by way of Iowa Western Community College and redshirted last season, is the third Longhorn to opt out of the upcoming season, joining running back Daniel Young and defensive lineman Marcus Bimage, both of whom made the announcement last week.

This fall was set to be the first time Tyler took the field in uniform at the NCAA level. It will have to wait for one more year.

"After talking it over with my family. Also much thought and prayer. While this decision was VERY hard for me to make, with everything going on in the world and the uncertainty of having a season. I have decided to opt out of the 2020 football season,” Tyler said on social media.

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Tyler made it a point to conclude with "I'll be back in 2021" — a small positive for the UT coaches, as they plan for the future.

With all that is going on, and the uncertainty around the 2020 season, it is understandable for players to have concerns and even make the choice to sit out until next season. Like all coaches, Texas head coach Tom Herman would like to have as many players as he can; he stated last week that he is going to call on at least 85 percent of his scholarship players this fall in an effort to ease their concerns.

“There were a lot of guys that needed some talking to," said Herman, "some assurances that this was going to be OK and that they didn’t have to play if they didn’t want to or if they felt uncomfortable, certainly."

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley