Posted January 09, 2013 on
AP on Fox
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 that down. But the most important thing to me is the University of Michigan and winning a Big Ten championship before I leave.''
The Wolverines finished last season 8-5 overall and 6-2 in the Big Ten, extending a conference championship drought that dates to 2004.
Lewan helped the 24th-ranked Wolverines give up a Big Ten-low 15 sacks last season.
The 6-foot-8, 309-pound Lewan ended his college career preventing South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney from making a sack. He did leave Clowney unblocked on a pivotal play in the fourth quarter that helped the Gamecocks beat Michigan 27-22 loss in the Outback Bowl.
Former Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez recruited Lewan out of Scottsdale, Ariz., and redshirted him as a freshman in 2009. Lewan became a starter the next season and has made 28 straight starts at left tackle.
Lewan's decision to stay gives Michigan two returning starters on the offensive line to protect Devin Gardner in his first full year as a quarterback.
''I have no doubt in my mind this offensive line will be successful,'' Lewan said. ''That's one of my biggest reasons to come back, to help these guys.''
The Wolverines will be without departing seniors Denard Robinson and Roy Roundtree on offense. They might at least start next season without running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who broke his left leg in a mid-November game against Iowa.
College football's winningest program will also have to replace five departing seniors on defense in 2013, but will get a boost by Lewan's return.
''We're excited as a program and a team to have Taylor's leadership and have him come back to finish his career at Michigan,'' coach Brady Hoke said. ''We have expectations and that will never change and high expectations that he understands and will help us keep achieving.''
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AROUND THE WEB
Junior Michigan offensive linemen Taylor Lewan has announced that he will pursue his NFL career in 2014. He will return to Michigan for his senior year! What a huge lift for #Team134. This is big. So proud of the big man.
More on what the impact of this decision will have later. For now, here's a gallery of Lewan photos I've compiled from over the...
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's All-American offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has always been unpredictable.
Wednesday, he might have pulled off his most surprising move of all time.
Despite being told by the NFL advisory board that he would probably be a high first-round pick in April, Lewan announced that he was going to return to Michigan for his senior season.
After holding a press conference to announce he would return for his Senior season, shocking nearly everyone in the room, Michigan LT Taylor Lewan headed over to the Michigan basketball game against Nebraska. Lewan was accompanied by his teammate Jake Ryan, but only he would be the one conducting the Michigan band.Lewan has been known for doing fantastically hilarious things such...
A top 15 pick and millions of guaranteed dollars playing in the NFL or a chance at “unfinished” business with Michigan?
Wolverine offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, a perennial upper tier first round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft decided he would roll the dice and return to the University for one last shot at glory in Ann Arbor.
“A lot of people had questions about whether I was...
I love GENERAL STUDIES!!!
All-American offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has surprised experts by announcing he will stay in college one more year. Lewan was expected to be a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Lewan is 6’8″ and 309 pounds. He helped the Wolverine offensive line give up a conference low 15 sacks.
The redshirt junior explained his decision to remain a Wolverine...
Big Tentacles - The Big Ten and its influence over college football.
I'll Stick Around.
Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan has announced he will return to school for his senior season. (The B1G Time)
Hawkeyes vs. Huskies.
Iowa will face Northern Illinois in the 2013 season opener on Aug. 31. (The Chicago Tribune)
Butkus Him Goodbye (wait, that didn't come...
Rejoice Michigan fans. Junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan announced Wednesday that he will be staying in school for his senior season. The 6-foot-8, 310 pound Scottsdale, Arizona native dropped the shocking statement during a press conference on campus. He called passing up definite first round money (likely top ten pick money) to return to school a “no-brainer.”
Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan announced Wednesday evening he would put off an NFL career and return to the Wolverines for his senior season. Lewan discusses the process of making the decision, his teammates reaction and his conversation with former Michigan left tackle Jake Long.
In a move that surprised just about everyone, myself included, Michigan's Taylor Lewan announced he will be staying at Michigan instead of taking the advice of many and leaving to be what was almost a sure top 10 pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Lewan noted the tradition of past Michigan offensive linemen like Jake Long and Jon Jansen of staying on for their senior seasons...
The Wolverines land their most important recruit...