Heading into the Allstate Sugar Bowl, redshirt sophomore offensive tackle Taylor Lewan looks nearly the same as he did a year ago. But the 2011 Lewan isn't the same player.
Last season it was his tattoos and personality that got him his reputation. And by season's end, he was known more for his funny-man persona than for what he had done for the Michigan offense.
If his play was brought up, it was about how he had been a liability on the offensive line, how his play before and after the whistle outshone everything else.
As a redshirt freshman, he had played selfishly. He has no problem admitting that now. He let down his team. He let down the Michigan football program. He feels like he let down Ann Arbor.
But he grew up.
In 2011, he took a backseat to the team. He still makes jokes. His wit is still quick. The tattoos are still there.
But it's not the same Lewan.