Taylor Lewan says he is 'almost positive' what he'll do next year, bowl won't sway call
TAMPA, Fla. -- Michigan junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan won't say he has made a decision on whether to declare for the NFL draft, or return for his senior season.
But he does say he has a good idea of what he'll do, and that nothing -- including Tuesday's Outback Bowl against South Carolina -- will affect his decision one way or the other.
So, basically then, he's made a decision and is just waiting until after the bowl to make it public?
"In some ways, yes, but that's really not important," Lewan said Friday after a team luncheon at the Tampa Convention Center. "What's important is Jan. 1.
"I have an idea what I'm doing. I'm almost positive what I'm doing. But at the end of the day, this bowl game doesn't have to do with what I'm going through. ... I'm playing football on Tuesday, Jan. 1, and I'll make my decision, and I'll talk to the coaches about it, and then we'll obviously go from there and what they want to do to get it out.
Is there something that could change his mind?
"No," Lewan said. "No."
Lewan said he has consulted coaches and former Michigan linemen in the NFL about the decision, but some of the most notable advice has come from Greg Harden, Michigan's director of athletic counseling.
"One of his biggest things with me is I have to learn to be more independent in my decisions that I make," Lewan said. "It's all on me. At the end of the day, it's my life and it's what I have to do.
"And, sometimes, what's best for you isn't always going to make people happy, whether I stay or go."
Lewan said he's been more at peace with the task at hand -- beating South Carolina -- since arriving at his near-decision.
"I've been way more focused," he said.
Lewan started every game at left tackle this season for Michigan. He earned the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year award, and was named to several notable All-America first teams, including the Associated Press.
He is projected as a top-15 pick if he declares for the NFL. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. pegs him as the No. 2 tackle prospect in the country.
Lewan said he's heard back from the NFL Draft advisory board, which gauges the pro stock of juniors, but would not reveal the findings.
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