Michigan Football Preview 2013

2013 Michigan Football Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 119 of 267

Mercilus, Clowney took it to another level, forcing Lewan to pay more attention to his assignment. It is a lesson he believes will be a turning point the rest of his career. "I'm just diving in now," he said. "I don't care if it's Central Michigan's defensive end, or Ohio State's, Notre Dame, Akron, Connecticut, Penn State — I'm taking every single opponent seriously. "Saturday night, after our game, I'll watch our game three or four times to see my mistakes, and then Sunday I'll watch their film and learn their tendencies. Figure out their best power rushes, their best speed moves. Learn as much as I can about the guys I'm going to see the following week because to win the day, you have to win every snap. You can't take one play off or have one miscommunication. "We saw that in the bowl game, and the result was a fumble and probably the biggest play of the game, and we can't have that. So I need to take care of myself, and then I need to make sure the entire offensive line and our tight ends are on the same page because we need everyone playing at a high level for our unit to be as good as we need to be for this offense and for this team." Establishing His Own Legacy Before he made his decision to return to Michigan, Lewan consulted with former Wolverine Jake Long, perhaps fittingly because Lewan is most often measured up against the two-time All-American and No. 1 overall draft pick (2008). Before he made a name for himself, Long was compared to Jon Jansen, and Jansen to John Elliott and on and on. However, those players stand alone today, and Lewan would like his name to become synonymous with significance also. "For linemen in the future to want to be the 'Next Taylor Lewan,' I don't even know if I can dream about that happening," he said. "It's unbelievable because I know the kind of player and person Jake Long is, and there could be no better feeling to me than establishing that same high standard of excellence for the next group." For Lewan to realize that promise, the 6-8, 308-pounder has to do more than win more awards — he has to simply dominate every week. "On the surface he's got the complete skill set," offensive line coach Darrell Funk said. "He can pass block, he can run block. For a tall guy he looks lean, but he's 308 or 310 pounds, holding his weight well. "He can really get underneath people and drive block. There are some finer points he can do in run block and technique, things he will fall back into pass protection-wise that you've got to get him out of. They are little Lewan earned first-team All-America accolades and was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2012. photo by lon horwedel First-And-10 With Taylor Lewan First Car That He Drove: "A 1994 Ford Taurus. It was purple. It was my grandmother's friend's. It was a beauty. That thing was awesome. I got it when I was 17. I was walking to get from place to place. It's not easy in Arizona, especially in the summer, but I didn't live too far from my school so it was OK." First Major Sports Event He Attended: "I'm huge into motocross, more specifically, freestyle. I had an opportunity to go to Firebird Raceway to see Travis Pastrana, Metal Militia, Nate Adams, and it was the coolest athletic experience of my life. That was my first love." First Concert He Went To: "The Zac Brown Band. And then I've been to the Hoedown in Detroit a few times since I've been here." First Autograph He Asked For: "I've never asked for one in my life. When I was little, older figures made me nervous so I would never approach someone, and I wouldn't do it now. I love LeBron James. He's an animal, but I'm not going to buy his jersey because I'm a grown man and that would just be weird." First Loss That Made You Cry: "I don't like getting emotional, getting deep about stuff. I almost cried in 2011 when we were at Michigan State, because that was heartbreaking to me. And then this year, when we beat State, I was so jacked up about it. I invested so much time and effort into it being my best that day because I didn't care for the way they played me the year before, and so when we beat them, that might have been the first time I actually cried." First Wolverine Hero: "Jake Long." First Jersey He Bought: "John Elway. I had the big '7' from the Denver Broncos. That was my jam right there." First Class He Took At Michigan: "I came here June 10, and I was big-eyed, this is crazy. The school was empty because it was spring term. I took a CSP 100 class. It was an intro to college class, and it wasn't terribly difficult, but I was so excited to get going." First Team He Ever Played For: "In Little League, I had a cup of coffee with the Yankees, and then I played for the Marlins and the Rangers. I was a first baseman, pitcher and center fielder." First Rival He Hated: "I played for the Mets and we played the Orioles, and there was a kid named Max that only had one arm but he still hit and he would always get hits off me, and so I hated that team and that kid the most. I know that sounds terrible, but I did." — Michael Spath 118  ■  The Wolverine 2013 Football Preview

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