The University of Michigan football program received some great news today as they have learned that junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan has decided to shrug off the NFL and come back for his senior year.
The first-team All-American and Big Ten offensive lineman of the year made the announcement prior to the Michigan men’s basketball game.
The talented offensive lineman told the media that he had already made his choice following their Jan. 1 bowl game against South Carolina in which they lost.
Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. had Lewan at No. 13 on his ‘big board’ and the No. 3 offensive tackle in the draft class.
Many believed the junior lineman would surely forgo his senior season to become a first-round NFL choice because of injuries he has suffered throughout his career. Although none of his injuries had been serious, the possibility of that becoming a problem loomed large if he returned for one more season.
If there is any doubt concerning his decision to stay in college, people can look back to former Michigan offensive lineman Jake Long that was a projected mid-first round pick, but ended up being the No. 1 overall selection.
Former Michigan Wolverine head coach Rich Rodriguez recruited Lewan, which could be arguably one of his best recruits in his short tenure, and redshirted him in his freshman year in 2009. He then became a starter in his redshirt freshman season, beginning a streak of 28 straight starts at the tackle position.
Time will tell if Lewan can be a top-five draft pick, but if he avoids injury and plays like he can play, he will be one of the best players available in the 2014 draft.