Friday, August 6, 2010
2010 Countdown: #28 Taylor Lewan
Name: Taylor Lewan
Weight: 283 lbs.
High school: Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, AZ
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #77
Last year: I ranked him #79 and said he'd redshirt. He redshirted.
Lewan came in last year and was in the 270 lb. range. He was a highly touted prospect by the end of the recruiting cycle, shooting up the charts after switching to offensive tackle from defensive end. His high school highlights are chock-full of him blocking fools until the echo echo echo of the whistle. Despite incredible talent, that lack of size prevented him from competing for playing time last year. But reports from practice said that defensive players hated playing against him because he's nasty and never stops blocking. Among others, he and Greg Banks got into a scuffle when Banks took umbrage at some of Lewan's tactics.
Naturally slotted at left tackle, Lewan will battle senior Perry Dorrestein for playing time. According to a source, it's Dorrestein's spot to lose, although Perry has been fighting a back injury for several months. There's also a chance that Lewan will outperform him in fall camp to win the starting job. It's bound to be a battle to the end, but I'm giving the edge to Dorrestein for now. Lewan is ranked this highly because a) he's nearly neck-and-neck with the "starter", b) injuries are common on the offensive line, and c) starting tackles Dorrestein and Mark Huyge could slide inside to guard if Patrick Omameh or Steve Schilling gets hurt.
Prediction for 2010: Backup left tackle, spot starter
Posted by Thunder at 8:00 AM
Labels: 2010 Season Countdown, Taylor Lewan
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Maybe, I just don't hear about them, but I'm very surprised that more conflicts don't happen between O-Line and D-Line. Both regard "nasty" as a great quality; so, setting up nasty v. nasty every day at practice would expectedly lead to tension/conflict.ReplyDelete
I have no experience playing football, but do the O-Line and D-Line generally get along when the pads are off or do they just tolerate one another?
Lewan is a tough call because I really don't know if he'll start or not.ReplyDelete
If he starts early on, then I expect him to get great experience for the later/tougher part of the B10 schedule. In this case, then I think I would rate him lower. If Dorrestein (or ???) starts early on, then Lewan might find it harder to break into the starting role during the B10 schedule, in which case, Lewan's status seems more rationale.
Is this analysis consistent with your thinking?
I'm on board with ALMOST all of your line-up predictions, including the Banks/Martin/RVB D-line... but this is the one place where we differ. From what I've seen in the past couple of years from Perry, and what I saw of Lewan in the spring game, I really think Lewan will win the spot this fall. My (admittedly limited) sources seem to think so too, but I'd agree that it'll be a battle to watch over the next month.ReplyDelete
~Blue in South Bend
@ Anonymous 9:36 a.m.ReplyDelete
Offensive linemen and defensive linemen do have a lot of scuffles. The one between Banks and Lewan isn't anything extremely notable; it's just a story that was reported from practice. I had my share of scuffles when I played line (and, in fact, I still hold a grudge against one guy). As a rule, these guys root for each other. I know of a couple O-linemen who are living with D-linemen this season. But generally defensive guys hang with defensive guys, offensive guys with offensive guys.
@ Anonymous 9:41 a.m.ReplyDelete
Yes, that is consistent with my thinking. An injury is bound to happen on the offensive line. I actually think Dorrestein is a better fit at RT, so even if Huyge gets hurt, my guess would be that Dorrestein flips to RT and Lewan steps in at LT.
@ Blue in South BendReplyDelete
It sounds like you and I have some differing sources. Regardless, like you said, I think it's up in the air right now. I hope the best guy wins the job, but if everything else is even, I'd rather see a 5th year senior get the spot to reward him for all the years of hard work and sticking with the team through all the turmoil.
I think that Lewan is more likely to start than people give him credit for. Guys like Lewan have started for Michigan in the past when there wasn't a talented upperclassman above them. I think that there is probably less talent and depth above Lewan right now than there was when Steve Everitt, Trezelle Jenkins, Steve Hutchinson, Jeff Backus, and Jake Long started as RS froshes.ReplyDelete
I sort of hope he doesn't start. Having a burgeoning young prospect backing up a senior is ideal in my mind. No matter how talented, young players are going to make some mental mistakes. While you can argue that 2010 isn't do or die and that playing Lewan now would be better for 2011, I like the traditional growth and development cycle, especially at OL. Lewan will surely play, so it doesn't matter if he starts too much.ReplyDelete
Having a competant and relatively deep OL is a big change from the last two years and IMO the biggest improvement on the roster.