ANN ARBOR—One game. One game is all that remains between Michigan senior captain and left tackle Taylor Lewan and the NFL career he put off by announcing his return to school a year ago.
Most likely a top 10 pick in the 2013 NFL draft, maybe even top five following workouts and meetings with franchises, in 2014 Lewan believes his draft status remains similar, maybe even grading out better.
“I don’t think it’s changed much from last year from what I understand,” Lewan said. “I’ve played my best year of football, so, now it’s really just going through the process and training for those things after this bowl game is over and trying to do my best, trying to make Michigan proud.”
But Lewan isn’t peeking too far ahead just yet.
In the mean time, Lewan will continue to work with the young offensive linemen as they prep not only for their final game in 2013 but for a spring and 2014 season that needs to be better.
Michigan coach Brady Hoke said reserve tackles will mix in and receive more reps in practice in place of Lewan and fellow senior Michael Schofield, two fifth year seniors that have played a lot of football in their time in Ann Arbor.
“I’m 100-percent these guys come first,” Lewan said. “These are my teammates, they come first. If they get better then we have a better chance to win.
“So I guess being 100-percent invested in winning a game implies the fact that I’m focused a bunch on them.”
Lewan will have one final opportunity to take the field for Michigan on Dec. 28 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl against Kansas State.
Returning to his home state where he attended three years of high school at Cave Creek Cactus Shadows before transferring to nearby Chaparral high school for his senior season, Michigan will actually utilize Chaparral’s facilities for bowl practices.
“That’s been like that I guess,” Lewan said. “But I’m jacked up about that, that’s exciting.”
Lewan added, “It’s an unbelievable feeling. Obviously I’d rather go to Pasadena and win a Big Ten championship but the fact that we’re going back to Arizona and practicing at a school that I was at for a year and built so many relationships there and having to finish my game at ASU stadium, where I finished my last high school game, it’s kind of a surreal feeling.”
Following the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl Lewan says he does not plan to return to Ann Arbor, instead diving straight into workouts and preparation for the NFL draft.
Lewan hasn’t decided where he will train.