NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Taylor Lewan wants to be very clear that he never threatened a woman while playing in college at Michigan. He says his mother raised him better than that, and he hopes Tennessee fans give him a chance to prove himself.
The Titans’ top draft pick answered repeated questions Friday at his introductory news conference about the allegation that led to him being questioned by campus police in 2009. The offensive tackle said the Titans picked him because they don’t believe he’s that kind of person.
“My biggest thing is this is a fresh start for all of us as far as the fans of the Titans go,” Lewan said. “Give me the opportunity to prove myself or prove myself wrong.”
No charges were filed in the alleged November 2009 incident. Lewan’s teammate, Brendan Gibbons, was kicked out of Michigan in December for violating the university’s sexual misconduct policy, and the U.S. Department of Education is investigating how Michigan handled the incident.
Lewan has been answering questions about that alleged threat for weeks from both NFL teams and reporters. The Titans made him the No. 11 selection overall Thursday night seeking to bolster their offensive line and use the 6-foot-7, 309-pound left tackle to protect quarterback Jake Locker.
He said it was uncomfortable when police asked if he threatened a woman for allegedly accusing his teammate of rape. Lewan refused to go into details on the alleged incident and said what was most uncomfortable was being accused of threatening a woman.
“If I was these two, I would absolutely have red flags when you first hear those things,” Lewan said of Titans general manager Ruston Webster and coach Ken Whisenhunt. “But one of the reasons they picked me is because they don’t believe I’m that kind of person. Or I’d like to think that.”
Webster says they would have had “grave concerns” drafting someone guilty of such accusations. He said the Titans did their work with scouts, security and the NFL.
“We went through our work, we felt very good about it,” Webster said.
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