Sometimes, big gifts come in small packages — of course that’s true, and that’s great.
But other times, big gifts for people such as Michigan head coach Brady Hoke come in really, really big packages.
The holiday season has come and gone, but on Wednesday Hoke received his 2013 Christmas present come very early in the form of Taylor Lewan’s decision to forgo the NFL draft and stay at Michigan for his senior year, according to Michael Rothstein of WolverineNation.
“There was no doubt in my mind at the end of it I had to return to the University of Michigan,” Lewan said.
At 6-foot-8, 305 pounds and light on his feet, Lewan went up against superstar defensive end Jadeveon Clowney in the Outback Bowl. Clowney had a good game, but Lewan did not give up a sack, more than holding his own against the frontrunner for next season’s defensive Player of the Year award.
His decision to stay in Ann Arbor immediately bolsters the hopes of the program heading in 2013. After heading into the 2012 campaign with high expectations, the team was stomped in Week 1 against Alabama and never quite recovered.
Further, it bolsters Lewan’s hopes of climbing into the top 5 of the draft following his senior year. He had already been projected as a top 20 pick had he decided to leave following the Outback bowl.
Another Michigan lineman, Jake Long, also decided to stay in school for an extra year, and he was taken No. 1-overall by the Miami Dolphins the following year. Lewan reportedly discussed the choice at length with Long.
“I asked him why he stayed and it’s funny because every single thing he said about staying at the University of Michigan went through my head countless times,” Lewan said. “So it’s kind of interesting to kind of feel like we had the same mindset.”
All of this being said, when asked whether or not Lewan would be taking out an insurance policy to protect from a potential injury, Lewan was blunt.
“That’s definitely happening.”
Michigan fans are hoping the only insurance Lewan, his teammates, his coaches, and everyone else involved will need in 2013 is traveler’s insurance.
With Lewan remaining on board, a New Year’s vacation to Pasadena just became a lot more probable.