Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is putting millions of dollars on hold to chase a Big Ten championship.
The All-America first-team player and the league's offensive lineman of the year is staying for his senior season, turning down a chance to be a first-round pick in the NFL draft and to be rich as soon as this spring.
''People don't really understand why I wouldn't leave for the NFL,'' Lewan said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press before making his announcement. ''But when I came to the University of Michigan, I didn't understand the tradition of this place, either. Now, I do. In the NFL, you just come and go. But here at Michigan, it's not like that. I love these guys - my teammates are my best friends - and I want to stay to win Big Ten championships.''
Lewan said his teammates were very surprised he decided to stay.
''The (NFL) advisory board came back and said that I'd be a high, first-round pick,'' Lewan told AP. ''At first, it was difficult to turn...