ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Taylor Lewan was projected as top-5 pick in last Aprils NFL Draft. But he gave up his opportunity to make millions of dollars and live his dream of playing professional football to comeback for his senior season at Michigan.
At the time, he stated his sole purpose was to come back and win a Big Ten championship. And if the Wolverines didn’t win one – it was a failure.
Sometimes, well, as in life, football doesn’t work out the way you want it to.
The Wolverines (7-4, 3-4 Big Ten) have struggled this season. They have lost three of their last four games and in the process erased all potential for a Big Ten championship.
With that being said, Lewan, who is a captain and starting left tackle for the Wolverines, says he has no regrets coming back for his fifth-year senior season.
"I think people might think that I regret my decision to come back as a senior,” Lewan said. “Absolutely not. Being around these guys in the locker room, win or lose, they are my brothers and being around them for one more year, experiencing college for another year, that's huge. And I know we didn't win the Big Ten championship, didn't accomplish individual awards. But at the same time, I am playing football with my friends and hopefully, I get to do that in the future. But I am happy about that right now."
At 6-foot-8, 315-pounds, Lewan said one of the major benefit of coming back for his senior season was added attention in his body conditioning.
"My body is healthier,” Lewan said. “I am in better shape than I ever have been. I am taking so much from this. Most importantly, taking away these friendships and being with these coaches for another year and being around this university for another year. I really can't explain how huge this is for me and even though we didn't have the season we want I will never regret this season ever."
Keeping up with the Buckeyes
Despite No. 3 Ohio State (11-0, 7-0) coming into “The Game” as prohibitive favorites and scoring 55.3 ppg in their last four contests, Lewan says there is no added pressure on the Wolverine offense to score points with the how well the U-M defense has been playing as of late.
"We have a good defense,” Lewan said. “This is not about Ohio, this is about Michigan, University of Michigan 134 years of Michigan Football; most wins in college football. I'm talking about that right now. Our defense will play; our offense needs to be more consistent. We worked on that this morning, and we are going to work on this all week. These guys understand what kind of rivalry this is. I am not talking about Ohio; I am talking about the University of Michigan."