Buffalo Bills Offensive Lineman Tommy Doyle Should Thank the Minnesota Wild for His NFL Opportunity

The Buffalo Bills began building an AFC powerhouse by investing in mid-major prospects, and Miami University offensive lineman Tommy Doyle is the club’s latest member.

A massive offensive tackle at 6 feet 8 inches and over 320 pounds, Doyle will have an opportunity to block for Josh Allen on the Bills’ dangerous offense. The talented lineman may want to thank the Minnesota Wild hockey team for his NFL opportunity.

Tommy Doyle attended a Minnesota Wild game during his recruitment

Buffalo Bills rookie Tommy Doyle played for Miami University.
Buffalo Bills rookie Tommy Doyle played for Miami University. | Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Tommy Doyle grew up in Edina, Minnesota, a town roughly 10 miles away from Minneapolis. And given that Minnesota is a hockey state, it is understandable that he grew up a devout fan of the Minnesota Wild.

Miami University — not to be confused with the University of Miami — made a strong push for Doyle during the recruiting trail. Although he’d hoped to follow in his parents’ footsteps and play at the University of Minnesota, the Golden Gophers never offered him a scholarship. His mother played volleyball at Minnesota, and his father played baseball there.

Miami head coach Chuck Martin wanted Doyle, and he made his way to Edina for the home visit. But rather than sit and have dinner at home, the two went to a Wild game during the 2015-16 season. The longtime Redhawks head coach recalled that experience in a recent interview with The Athletic.

“I said, ‘This is probably an NCAA first where the home visit is being conducted at a Minnesota Wild hockey game.’”

Chuck Martin

Doyle officially signed with the Redhawks on Feb. 3, 2016.

Doyle had an impressive career at Miami University

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Although he originally signed with Miami as a defensive lineman, Doyle later switched sides and moved to the offensive line.

After playing in only four games over his first two seasons, he cracked the starting lineup as a right tackle in 2018. From that point on, he became one of the Mid-American Conference’s top offensive lineman and earned first-team All-Conference honors twice.

Miami went 16-13 in that span. The Redhawks played only three games in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Buffalo Bills have high hopes for Doyle

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The Buffalo Bills have drafted several players from mid-majors in recent years, including ex-Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen in 2018 and former Florida Atlantic running back Devin Singletary a year later. Both are proven starters on a Bills team hoping to finally win a Super Bowl.

Doyle is the newest member of the club. The Bills selected the two-time all-conference offensive tackle in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL draft. At 6 feet 8 inches, he and Spencer Brown, a rookie from Northern Iowa, are the team’s tallest offensive linemen.

Buffalo didn’t draft Doyle to be a Day 1 starter, and he can ease into the NFL just as he did when he redshirted at Miami. However, he quickly embraced his new home when he signed his rookie contract in a Bills uniform.

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