Hello: Taylor Lewan Comment Count

Brian December 15th, 2008 at 11:35 AM

An eventful couple days: first IN LB Jordan Barnes decommits, then Arizona offensive lineman Taylor Lewan commits. Informative update coming in a bit.

And by "a bit" I mean "tomorrow," but first thing!

taylor-lewan

Becca says "you are so hott," FWIW.

GURU RATINGS & CHATTER

Scout Rivals ESPN
4*, #25 OT 4*, #192 overall, #17 OT 80, #14 OT

Lewan, of course, is defensive end commitment Craig Roh's teammate; he transferred schools for a senior year that saw him shoot up the rankings a few weeks into his senior season. At his old school he was primarily a defensive lineman, at which position he didn't project to college; at tackle, however, it took all of two weeks for twenty programs to offer. Lewan's decision came down to Minnesota, where his dad briefly played before injury cut his career short, and Michigan, with The Correct Answer winning out.

The sites, as you can see, are close to unified on his potential: it's there, he's got a real chance to be an excellent player, etc. ESPN's rating is equivalent to a mid-four star on the other sites; he's the first OT outside of their top 150.

ESPN snippet($):

He is a tall and lean kid with a good build, but he is lean for an offensive tackle and will need to work to add more bulk to his frame. He is a kid who plays hard and is very productive. He makes good initial contact and will flash the ability to generate power from his hips and when he does that he can drive a defender off the ball. He is a tall kid though that needs to watch his pad level and focus to stay low. He is very good with his hands as both a run and pass blocker. He gets good hand placement and can be tough to beat once he gets locked on.

MGoBlog's own Tom VanHaaren provided an article in which the Hallowed Comparison was made:

They both told me about Taylor's favorite player: former Michigan left tackle and current Miami Dolphin Jake Long. Dave told me that every Sunday, “Taylor watches the Dolphin games, and actually rewinds every offensive play to see what Jake was doing, and his technique.” Lewan draws comparisons to the first pick in the 2008 NFL draft. Taylor plays left tackle, wears the number 77, is one of the smartest players on and off the field, and has based his game on strength. Coming out of high school, Long was a recent convert to offensive line rated about where Lewan is.

Obviously Lewan would have to absolutely maximize every ounce of his potential to even approach Jake Long's success.

OFFERS

Lewan gathered a wide bounty as teams saw him play tackle:

Staying in Arizona, there isn't a hotter offensive line recruit in the West right now than Chaparral (Scottsdale, Ariz.) tackle Taylor Lewan. Lewan has been absolutely dominant this season and word is spreading fast among college coaches.

It seems a new offer rolls in for Lewan almost daily with Oregon State, Arizona and Nebraska being the most recent. Arizona State, Oregon, Nevada and Minnesota had previously offered.

 Miami, Wisconsin, and others also threw their hat in the ring.

And I have no idea how verified this voracity is but FWIW:

Chaparral offensive tackle Taylor Lewan could see his number of scholarship offers jump very soon. Lewan said Alabama, Florida and Ohio State will likely be offering after another highly regarded offensive tackle makes his college commitment.

AFAIK there's no highly rated offensive tackle with those three schools on his list, so I interpret that to mean "those three schools had one recruit they were waiting on and then Lewan was their guy"; for OSU that's obviously Marcus Hall.

STATS

Offensive linemen don't have stats.

FAKE 40 TIME

Also they don't really have 40 times.

VIDEO

This isn't particularly relevant but it does exist, so here's five minutes of Lewan as a junior, mostly playing on defense:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

You get too high on offensive line recruits at your peril, as the ratings at that position are the least reliable. That said, Lewan's sudden rise as soon as he found himself at his natural position, and the offers that accompanied that rise, are an excellent indicator for his future. You get the impression that the only thing restricting Lewan's further rise is his late switch to the offensive line, which leaves somewhat deficient in technique and size and makes him something of a risk. That risk is offset by serious upside.

Two comparison points for Lewan: Jake Long and Dann O'Neill. All three have prototypical left tackle bodies and were highly rated. Long started as a redshirt freshman and eventually became the top pick in the NFL draft. O'Neill showed up and immediately seemed like he needed two years to add strength and technique; his future remains all potential.

Lewan's got a definite redshirt in his future, and then he's likely to spend 2010 watching a senior Schilling and Dorrestein (or possibly or Omameh/O'Neill somewhere) play before being a serious threat for playing time as a redshirt sophomore.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Lewan is the second offensive lineman and second projected tackle in the class. Michigan probably wants to add one more offensive lineman. The two best possibilities are NC OL Travis Bond, who's a three-star recruit most project at tackle, and SC OL Quinton Washington, a guy who projects at guard and a couple of the services absolutely love (ESPN and Rivals; Scout not so much).

Both have taken officials to Michigan already and the indicators are encouraging. Washington hasn't scheduled any other visits yet, though he plans to take his four remaining trips in January. Bond looked to be leaning towards UNC but the Tar Heels are doing some Saban-level oversigning and may not have room. That would leave Michigan competing against NC State and then it's just a matter of whether he wants to stay home or not. Michigan probably gets one and then is done on the OL. Also out there: Trotwood-Madison giant Chris Freeman, who's a major project but with upside.

Etc.: If you've got a Scout subscription you should check this article from the Minnesota site, which is titled "Lewan commits to Big Ten School($)" but makes no mention as to which school that might be; this newspaper article does.

Comments

wolverinekeith

December 15th, 2008 at 12:02 PM ^

How'd you like to be Lewan's HS coach from his first three years - the guy couldn't see that a 6'6"/260 guy who can move pretty well is just about perfect for Offensive Tackle?

Yikes.

Took college coaches all of 3 weeks to realize it, and they only saw games and tape.

MileHighWolverine

December 15th, 2008 at 2:29 PM ^

First off, tremendous get by RichRod. It is always great to get a Jake Long clone whenever you can. Having said that, don't we seem to have a ton of lineman already? I seem to recall (and could be wrong) that we have 4-5 redshirt lineman that are suppose to be pretty good and now we have this guy and are possibly looking for one more. Doesn't that seem like way too many lineman bunched around a couple classes? Does this raise a red flag on the guys we already have (which would explain why none of them got any PT even though we had tons of injuries on the line this year) or is it normal to have 10-12 offensive lineman on a roster?

Noahdb

December 15th, 2008 at 3:58 PM ^

Washington is most likely going to play for South Carolina. BTW, DE Sam Montgomery is still listing Michigan...but most likely, will play for Clemson.