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Posted on Fri, May 14, 2010 : 8:37 p.m.

'Nasty' Taylor Lewan is ready to contribute at left tackle for Michigan

By Dave Birkett

Craig Roh and Taylor Lewan played together their senior seasons of high school and roomed together last year, so when Roh calls Lewan “dirty” know that he means it in the most complimentary way.

“He is, just, dirty sometimes, which is what a Big Ten offensive lineman should be like,” Roh said. “Just a nasty guy, a guy that you’re like, ‘I don’t want to go against him again.’ And I never hear someone on the defense saying, ‘Oh, Taylor’s just a really nice guy to go against.’ Everyone is like, ‘He’s holding me, he’s knocking me over when the play is over.’

“He’s just a nasty guy, which is that kind of mentality we need on the offensive line.”

Lewan has made a compelling case to start at left tackle for Michigan this fall with a breakout spring.

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound redshirt freshman devoured heavy reps at the position after Perry Dorrestein aggravated a back injury, and impressed coaches with both his tenacity and athleticism.

“We’re not ready to anoint him just yet, but he’s had a really good spring,” Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez said last month. “He’s still got a lot to learn. He hasn’t played yet, but he’s certainly a guy that this spring he showed us a few things and if he continues on this path he’s going to be a really good player.”

Lewan, whose father, Dave, played offensive line at Minnesota, is still relatively new to the tackle position having played just one season of offense in high school.

But Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral High coach Charlie Ragle said that season “was like dog years” for Lewan, who played under the tutelage of Rod Humenuik, a former player and coach in the NFL.

“It was like getting seven for one because Rod had such a wealth of experience and for a kid like Taylor Lewan it was the perfect storm,” Ragle said.

Lewan transferred to Chaparral with no scholarship offers, but when college coaches came to recruit Roh three springs ago they noticed his long-limbed and fleet-footed teammate.

When Lewan finally picked Michigan, with Roh's prodding, his offer list read like a who's who of college football: Nebraska, Miami, Oregon, and more than a dozen others.

“I’m not one of these guys that flies off the handle and makes asinine statements, and I don’t want this article to read like that, but if Taylor Lewan can do the things that he does, he’ll play on Sundays," Ragle said. "His athleticism is that good."

And Lewan hasn't lost an ounce of that athleticism despite gaining more than 20 pounds since he arrived on campus last summer. In testing this spring, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash time of all offensive linemen.

Ragle, who saw Lewan over spring break and traded text messages with him last week, said his former pupil is ready for the starting job should he win it this fall.

"He’s got a gregarious personality, he’s got a great sense of humor, he’s a jovial young man," Ragle said. "But then when you step on that field, I’ve never seen a nastier individual than Taylor Lewan. That’s what our kids took away from him. That’s the mentality that you have to play with on the football field to be a dominant offensive lineman."


Michigan is recruiting another Chaparral offensive lineman, Andre Yruretagoyena, and Ragle said Lewan and Roh are leading the pursuit.

“I think Michigan will be in the mix without a doubt because those guys have done a great job,” Ragle said. “Tony (Dews) and those guys that come out here - Tony mainly recruits this area but Coach (Greg) Frey came out - they do a good job, but like I said, the players sell your program.”

Ragle said the 6-foot-5, 260-pound Yruretagoyena is in regular contact with both Lewan and Roh, and that Michigan likely will be in Yruretagoyena’s final five when he cuts his list in the coming month.

Originally from the Vancouver, Canada, area, Yruretagoyena also is considering USC, Oregon and Oregon State, among others.

Mike Rothstein contributed to this report.

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.


Robbie Webb

Sun, May 16, 2010 : 11:30 a.m.

You have a lot to learn, nobowlforblue.


Sun, May 16, 2010 : 8:04 a.m.

Team and defense from worst to first no way dreamers


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 9:58 p.m.

This Lewan kid is going to be a real nasty nightmare for the Big Ten defenses this year, Denard should take a book with him for all the time he'll have in the backfield.


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 9:32 p.m.

Lewan can play defense as well, but our defense is so daggum good this coming fall, they'll keep him on offense to give Denard 2-3 extra touchdowns a game

Robbie Webb

Sat, May 15, 2010 : 12:31 p.m.

It will be. And if you think about it, after Molk was taken out, that screwed up our entire line and that's when we started making more mistakes on offense. Tate was really comfertable with Molk at center. He, like Lewan, has a nasty attitude on the line and with Schillings skills and leadership, everything will come together and will make the offense much better.


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 12:11 p.m.

Robbie webb It better be. Our OL needs to dominate and with the players we have now and 2 deep at every position we should.Schilling could be an AA and Lewan a Fr AA.This may be the best line we have for the next couple of years.


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 12:06 p.m.

Lewan better be good.Amd Molk should be healthy.The OL has plenty of experiance with Omahmeh, Schilling Khoury and Molk. If Schofield can beat out Dorrenstein,all the betteer.The OL is the most impotatant part of the team.I once heard Terry Donovan of UCLA,when complimented on his great passing game, state that all coaches in their dreams would prefer to run the ball on every play with a overpowering OL.Since we are basically a running game team our Ol has to dominate.No more being stopped at the one 4 times like against Illinois.No more failure to convert 3rd and 2s.RR now has 2 deep at every position with 3 deep at C. The DL is also very important but it can be thrown over.It is the OL that detetrmines the game.Lewan could be the key to achieving that.

Robbie Webb

Sat, May 15, 2010 : 9:57 a.m.

Nobowlforblue, it's spelt defense* and we have studs on defense this year.

Candace Kinsler

Sat, May 15, 2010 : 9:49 a.m.

I can't wait for the 2010 season to begin...the excitement is abound


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 6:43 a.m.

Anyone want my opinion of Mr Lewan? Hello Wolverine fans I say, anyone want my opinion of Mr Lewan? What do you mean no well your going to get it anyway, my opinion of Mr Lewan is no opinion. Mr Lewan has not played yet people how can I have an opinion?


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 6:34 a.m.

If he's that nasty maybe he should be playing "Defence"


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 1:44 a.m.

What no negative comments about RR yet? HMMMMM Ok I got it...he has no concern for these kids health he made him gain 20 lbs in one year, that is too fast and now the kid is prone to heart attacks!!! RR swears in practice and now his kids have a reputation of being nasty and wont be positive contributors to society! ok ok ok, he made these kids move from arizona far away from there parents so there is no family values!!!!! YES Haters we got him all figured out. Oh Dave, MSU sucks and will always be second fiddle no matter if Mich has 2 bad years or not.


Sat, May 15, 2010 : 12:02 a.m.

From everything I've read about them, Lewan and Roh sound like outstanding young men. The foundation is currently being laid for a very bright future with this team.


Fri, May 14, 2010 : 10:40 p.m.

taylor is a natural.

Robbie Webb

Fri, May 14, 2010 : 10:20 p.m.

The offensive line this year is going to be so nasty with guys like Lewan, Molk, and Schilling.


Fri, May 14, 2010 : 7:46 p.m.

Icant wait to see lewan pancake defense linemen from opposing teams. Nice job dave for posting some positive news here keep it coming. go blue