Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan (Gregory Shamus / Associated Press)
Indianapolis - Michigan left tackle Taylor Lewan said he hasn't thought about the personal decision that will be looming large after the Wolverines' bowl game.
Lewan said Saturday he then will consider whether to pursue the NFL or stay at Michigan for his final season of eligibility. Lewan, voted the Big Ten's offensive lineman of the year, is here with the other All-Big Ten selections to be honored at tonight's conference championship game.
He met this week with Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who offered his support regardless of the decision, and said he will confer with coaches, friends and family after the bowl game. Lewan said he doesn't want a lot of fuss when the decision is finally made.
"I don't know, because honestly I haven't thought about it yet," Lewan said at the Indianapolis Convention Center after the Big Ten FanFest when asked what his future holds. "It hasn't really crossed my mind. I haven't made a pros and cons list yet. I haven't done stuff like that. My biggest worry is team 133 and making these seniors successful and going out the way they want to go out with a bowl win.
"There's good things that could happen and bad things that could happen (by returning to Michigan). I'm not turned off by anything. Right now, I've never been so in the middle of anything in my whole life. It's a good problem to have. But I'm not focused on it. When the time comes, obviously, there will be a lot of pressure to make the right decision."
Lewan has been projected as a first-round selection by several NFL draft analysts.
"I don't like to pay attention to those things, because at the end of the day it's just words," Lewan said. "It's just the media. And the media really does not know what they're talking about, to be totally honest, all the time. Everything is rumors.
"I've had several people come up to me in the last two weeks and say, 'Oh, so you're leaving, huh?' No one knows. That's partly the media's fault."
Despite winning the Big Ten's top offensive lineman award, which former Michigan center David Molk earned last year, Lewan said there's room for improvement in every aspect of his game.
"(Offensive line) coach (Darrell) Funk has turned me into a player I want to become," Lewan said. "There's always room for improvement in every part of the game for me — everything. Nothing's flawless. Everything needs work."
During the Big Ten kickoff in July, Lewan said he had started to get calls from NFL-types. He's still getting those calls.
"I tell them the same thing I'm telling you guys — I'm not focused on that right now," he said. "My goals are to go to whatever bowl game we're going to and win that game. I'm not looking past the season at all. There's no point trying to make decisions if you're not playing well."
If Lewan doesn't return next season, Michigan will have only one returning starter on the offensive line in right tackle Michael Schofield.
Lewan said there should be no worries.
"I don't think Michigan will have a big problem with the offensive line next year," said Lewan, who could graduate this spring or in the fall with a General Studies degree.
He mentioned freshmen Kyle Kalis, Ben Braden and Erik Magnuson in addition to redshirt freshman Jack Miller. Lewan also singled out redshirt freshman Graham Glasgow.
"(Glasgow is) one guy who has stood out to me throughout the spring and the fall," Lewan said. "He has played up to the Michigan level and deserves a shot possibly."
Turning back to his future, Lewan balked when it was mentioned that this is a decision that should not require much of a debate — you either know you want to leave or you want to stay.
"Have you played at Michigan before?" Lewan said, turning serious. "When you play at the University of Michigan and you understand the tradition and the coaches you have and how that town has put their heart and soul into that program, it makes it way harder a decision.
"It's not emotional. You can't make a decision like this on emotions. You see how much you put into a program, and you want to be successful, and you want a Big Ten championship. There's reasons for me to stay, but at the end of the day, whatever's best for me."