Lewan named ESPN.com All-American

Taylor Lewan will face a fellow ESPN.com All-American in the Outback Bowl. Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- In a group of five where having your name mentioned probably means bad things, Taylor Lewan was an exception. As the Michigan offensive line struggled through most of this season, Lewan still managed to excel.

He became a wall on the left side of the offensive line, a left tackle who could block almost anything in his path on the way to the Big Ten’s Offensive Lineman of the Year award and a gaggle of All-American selections, including the ESPN.com All-America team.

The 6-foot-8, 309-pounder often had to answer questions about the struggles of his offensive line this season and they ranged from agreement -- he criticized the line heavily the first few weeks of the season -- to surliness when he disagreed with the criticism. The one thing that could not be doubted, though, was Lewan’s ability.

He has one year of eligibility remaining, but could depart for the NFL this season and be a high selection -- that is how good the NFL scouts feel he is and can be. While he won’t make that decision until after the Outback Bowl against South Carolina on New Year’s Day, he has proven to be one of the best in the country.

It is in that New Year’s Day game where Lewan might get the best gauge of his future. There could be times then where he is matched up with another ESPN.com All-American, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Lewan, unsurprisingly, also earned a spot on the ESPN.com All-Big Ten team along with Michigan redshirt sophomore linebacker Jake Ryan, who led the Wolverines in tackles (84) and tackles for loss (14).