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Michigan's big No. 77 may have run out to touch the iconic "M Club" banner for the last time in his career, but he'll leave Michigan in a far better state than he found it.
Okay, we'll admit that Lewan didn't quite have the 2013 we were expecting, and his performance this season might be fractionally less impressive than it was in 2012. However, we're still talking about one of the nation's top offensive linemen here.
When Lewan came out of high school in 2009, he opted to take Rich Rodriguez—yes, Lewan is a Rich Rod recruit, folks—up on his offer to play at one of the nation's top NFL O-Line talent generators. Following in the footsteps of former No. 1 overall draft selection (2008) Jake Long, Lewan watched his team struggle to a 5-7 record during his redshirt season.
By the time Lewan was a sophomore, however, Michigan finished the season with a Sugar Bowl title and a spot in the final Coaches Poll's top 10.
As Michigan retools back towards its traditional identity of, well, an actual Big Ten football program (rather than the Big East hybrid Rodriguez tried to implement), there are bound to be some growing pains. Lewan's departure, while difficult, will pave the way for the next great offensive tackle in Ann Arbor.