Taylor Lewan to make formal NFL announcement after notifying teammates of decision
TAMPA, Fla. -- Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan capably handled South Carolina All-America defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on Tuesday in the Outback Bowl.
But after the Wolverines' 33-28 loss, talk quickly shifted to Lewan and his pending decision either to return for his senior season or enter the NFL Draft.
The junior said he will wait to reveal his plans publicly until he has a chance to first speak with teammates. Then, he plans to make a formal announcement.
"I haven't addressed the team yet," Lewan said. "I'll address the team, then we'll do whatever (sports information director) Justin Dickens, Coach (Brady) Hoke wants to do and how he wants to let that out to the public.
"It's not fair to my team to tell y'all, then not tell them."
Why hold off for a formal announcement if he actually intended to stay for his senior season?
"Next question," Lewan said.
Lewan said he would visit Baton Rouge, La., with receiver Drew Dileo after the game, then address the team when he returned to Ann Arbor.
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native was an All-American for Michigan this season, and was named the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year. He is projected as a top-15 pick if he declares for the draft.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. currently ranks him the country's No. 2 tackle prospect.
Lewan said before the Outback Bowl that he already had a decision in mind, and that the game would not factor into his decision. But his performance certainly did nothing to shake that stock -- if anything, he may have bolstered it.
Clowney entered the game leading the nation in sacks (13) and was third in tackles for loss (21.5). He won the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's best defensive end, and many draft analysts say the sophomore could be selected No. 1 overall if he were eligible to turn pro.
But faced against Lewan, Clowney finished with just four tackles, one for loss.
Lewan says he was responsible for just one of those tackles.
"I think I played really well," Lewan said. "Everyone told me was unblockable one-on-one, un-everything, all of this. Today, I did my job, did my job for Michigan.
"But at the same time, that doesn't matter. Didn't win the game, weren't successful. I can be as happy as I want with how I played, but at the end of the day, we didn't win the game."
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