Michigan OL Taylor Lewan already getting calls from NFL types, but isn't picking up
Melanie Maxwell I AnnArbor.com
Apparently, word is getting around.
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. already projects Lewan as a top-15 pick in next year's draft, should the junior elect to forgo his senior season. Now, it appears he already has voices in his ear telling him he should do just that.
Lewan said Friday at the Big Ten media days in Chicago that he and his father began receiving calls from NFL types this summer.
"There's people trying to contact me all the time, but there's no sense in looking at that right now because if I don't do anything my junior and senior year, then what's the point?" Lewan said.
"It's a good problem to have, but like I said before, my focus is leading Team 133."
Lewan said the callers don't leave messages, and he doesn't call them back.
"My focus is the University of Michigan, and there's no point in jumping into something and getting in trouble about it, because it's not who I am," he said. "No one has talked to me yet, because I haven't talked to them. They get nervous about leaving voicemails."
Lewan said he's sought the advice of a couple former Michigan offensive linemen who have gone through a similar process, including tackles Jake Long and Jon Jansen.
Long could have left school after an All-American junior season, but elected to stay. The left tackle became the No. 1 overall pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2008.
Jansen, like Lewan, started from the time he was a freshman. He stuck around for his senior season and became a second-round pick of the Washington Redskins in 2009.
"He kind of just told me don't worry about the hype, and just go play football," Lewan said of Jansen. "That's actually helped me a lot, coming from someone like him.
"I think when the time comes for me to worry about where I go after Michigan, then I'll definitely reach out to other Michigan football players and fill in that process. But right now, I have to focus on leading this team."
Lewan is a junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., and has started 22 of a possible 26 games since redshirting as a true freshman. He was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media after last season, when he started every game as a sophomore.
He appears to be primed to have his best season yet.
Lewan said he's "absolutely" stronger than he's ever been, which is saying something for a guy who has largely dominated since stepping into the lineup as a redshirt freshman. He said he's up to about 310 pounds, after playing last year at 302, and has trimmed out to about 4- or 5-percent body fat.
That could portend good things for Michigan -- but of course, another standout season means the NFL pressure will continue to build.
When asked if he is doing any specific preparations for the NFL, Lewan noted he's reading a book penned by former Michigan coaching great Bo Schembechler.
"In this book, he says that if you just focus on the job you have right now to the best of your abilities, other jobs will come," Lewan said. "And that's what I'm trying to do right now, is just focus on Michigan, Team 133 and leading.
"When it comes time to move on, then I'll address it."