By Ashley Dunkak
Just voted a Michigan team captain by his teammates, fifth-year senior and left tackle Taylor Lewan is not concerned about how he will feel when he takes the field for his final season as a Wolverine.
“I’ll worry about the emotional stuff after the season is over,” Lewan said. “I’m not here to watch ‘P.S. I Love You’ and cry myself to sleep. I’m here to play football. So when Saturday rolls around I’m here to play a football game. It’s not about me. It will never be about me. It’s about the team.”
The team will definitely need Lewan’s help, seeing that the other starters on the offensive line are redshirt sophomores Graham Glasgow and Jack Miller and redshirt freshman Kyle Kalis. Glasgow got into five games as a reserve in 2012, and Miller played in six. Kalis has not yet played in any games.
“It was a huge competition that really came down to who wanted it more, who was going to play consistently, and I think those guys have done a great job,” Lewan said. “As far as being a cohesive unit, these guys understand that we are a team within a team, and this team is going to live or die with what we do.”
In contrast to the rest of the offensive line starters, Lewan has played 37 games at the left tackles spot, and he has started 35 of those. Despite the lack of experience of the line as a whole, Lewan has high expectations of the group and says the standards for being a part of it are much higher than they might be elsewhere.
“I expect this team to be a punishing offensive line,” Lewan said. “That’s what we should be. We’re Michigan football. We have a huge tradition of Michigan offensive linemen, great offensive linemen, and there is a standard at this position.
“There’s a difference between starting and playing well,” he continued. “There’s probably plenty of guys around the country who start that aren’t that great. Here there is a standard. So I expect all of them to push guys off the line of scrimmage, protect the quarterback and make sure we get yards.”
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke credited Lewan and redshirt senior Michael Schofield, a three-year letterman who has started at both right tackle and left guard, for pushing the younger guys in practice. That leadership was rewarded with Lewan’s selection as a captain.
“It’s the greatest honor I’ve ever received to be voted on by your peers and put into a position to lead this team, like these seniors have been doing,” Lewan said. “I’ve never been a captain of anything — not Little League baseball, not high school football, not anything. So this is the first time and I’m going to do everything possible to not let this team down.”