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Corum and Edwards named top 10 returning running backs in 2023

Pro Football Focus is high on two of Michigan’s running backs heading into the 2023 season.

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© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

On Wednesday, Pro Football Focus (PFF) released their top 10 returning running backs of 2023. On its list are four Big Ten backs — one from Ohio State, one from Penn State, and two from Michigan. Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards — the Wolverines’ elite one-two punch — are listed at No. 1 and No. 9 on PFF’s list.

Blake Corum returns to Michigan after elite 2022 season

A season ago, Blake Corum established himself as the best running back in the nation. Heading into 2023, national media and the Wolverines have high hopes for Michigan’s star back this fall.

Corum was ranked the No. 1 returning running back by Pro Football Focus — he also has the best odds of any non-quarterback to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Last fall, Corum was in (and perhaps led) the Heisman race until suffering a knee injury in the Wolverines’ 19-17 victory over Illinois.

Corum saw limited snaps the rest of the season and was eventually sidelined after having surgery. Early in the offseason, Corum announced that he would forego the 2023 NFL Draft and return to Michigan for his senior season. This fall, Michigan’s elite running back will look to bring home Michigan’s first Heisman Trophy and National title since 1997.

Donovan Edwards could be the best skill player in America

Along with rising senior Blake Corum is rising junior Donovan Edwards, another of the Wolverines’ top players. A year ago, Edwards showed the potential to become the next great running back in the Maize and Blue. He and Corum are returning to lead Michigan’s offense to the promised land.

Ewards is more than just a running back; he’s a multipurpose tool like no other in the Big Ten. Edwards is a top-3 pass-catcher on Michigan’s roster. He is a threat as a receiver in the short, medium, and even the deep ball game. Additionally, when asked to take over as RB1 when Corum was sidelined with an injury, Edwards ran for over 200 yards against Ohio State and 185 yards in the Big Ten title game against Purdue.

Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebookand Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Managing Editor at Cj@BluebyNinety.com or DM him on Twitter, @CJsWrld_.

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Four-star Michigan football target expected to commit soon

This four-star Michigan football target is about to announce his commitment.

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Michigan football, recruiting, 2024 recruiting class, Brian Robinson
Dec 4, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh against the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Big Ten Conference championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Wolverines are one of the five remaining teams for Brian Robinson, a blue-chip edge rusher from Ohio, who is reportedly close to making a college decision. Robinson, who was once a prominent four-star Michigan football target in the 2024 recruiting class, was initially strongly leaning towards Michigan, but now it appears to be more uncertain. His commitment would be a significant and unexpected acquisition for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.

Four-star Michigan football target Brian Robinson close to a final call

According to recent reports, Brian Robinson is nearing a decision and aims to conclude his recruitment within the next week or so. Robinson is currently ranked as the No. 131 recruit in the 2024 recruiting class. Given that the Wolverines have recently lost a substantial amount of talent on the defensive side of the football, especially at edge rusher, Robinson could be a major addition for Jim Harbaugh.

It doesn’t appear that Robinson is favoring the Wolverines right now, although Michigan football recruiting has seen significant changes recently, so anything is possible. At one point this year, it seemed highly likely that Ann Arbor would be Robinson’s eventual destination; however, his recruitment has become much more complicated in recent months.

If Jim Harbaugh can land Robinson, it would be huge for the 2024 recruiting class

The remaining schools in contention, aside from Michigan football, are Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Penn State. According to the RPM, Robinson’s preferred landing spot right now is the Kentucky Wildcats, with the Maize and Blue firmly in contention at the No. 2 spot.

As per the On3 industry rankings, Robinson is a highly sought-after four-star Michigan football target, ranking as the No. 131 player nationally, the No. 9 edge rusher in the 2024 recruiting class, and the No. 5 player in the state of Ohio.



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Latest buzz on impressive Michigan football freshman wide receivers

Here is the latest buzz from Schembechler Hall regarding a few rising stars — these Michigan football freshman wideouts are impressive!

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Michigan football, wide receivers, Ron Bellamy, Big Ten
© Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Wolverines’ wide receiver corps is led by Roman Wilson — the NCAA’s leader in touchdown catches (6) — and Cornelius Johnson. That said, below these two talented veterans are a number of impressive Michigan football freshman wideouts, who recently earned some high praise from wide receivers coach Ron Bellamy ahead of this weekend’s Big Ten conference opener against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0).

Michigan football freshman wide receivers continue to impress

Unlike the previous two seasons, the Michigan football offense is really starting to air the ball out often this fall. Aside from an unimpressive game against Bowling Green, junior quarterback JJ McCarthy has been dominant this year, which is a trend he hopes to keep up during this week’s matchup against Rutgers.

Ron Bellamy gives the latest ahead of this week’s Big Ten opener

Among this year’s wide receiver corps are a number of Michigan football freshman standouts, who have been turning heads throughout fall camp and even into the first few games of the season. Yesterday, Ron Bellamy — Michigan’s WR coach — gave the latest on these rising star Wolverines.

“They’re doing well,” Ron Bellamy said of the Michigan football freshman wide receivers. “They’re doing well — you can’t treat them like freshmen. I tell them all the time, ‘Whoever we play, they’re not going to look across and say, ‘Oh, this is an 18-year-old freshman here; take it easy on him.’ No, they are going to be attacking like they would any other player.’ That has to be the mindset, and we don’t treat them like freshmen. Those guys are diligent about their craft. That’s the thing I like about them. And that’s why they’re getting opportunities. Those guys are constantly wanting to learn and making sure that they’re dialed in and detailed in everything that we do.”

Keep an eye out for these freshmen when Michigan football takes the field

Ideally, Michigan football won’t need to rely on these freshman wideouts just yet; however, if you start to see names like Semaj Morgan, Fredrick Moore, and others getting some notable in-game reps, don’t be too surprised. From the sound of things, it seems that the Wolverines are confident in many of these rising stars, and are looking to continue developing them into the next generation of elite offensive skill players to wear the Maize and Blue.



Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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Top analyst has an interesting message for Michigan football fans

Top analyst Joel Klatt has some interesting thoughts about Michigan football heading into the Wolverines’ Big Ten opener this weekend.

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Sep 9, 2023; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines wide receiver Roman Wilson (1) celebrates his touchdown against the UNLV Rebels with teammates during the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Last weekend, the Maize and Blue won their third-straight game of the 2023 season, downing the Bowling Green State Falcons by 25 points at home. While JJ McCarthy and the offense struggled, the Wolverines are still undefeated heading into Big Ten conference play this weekend. Still, with Penn State and Ohio State playing great football right now, top college football analyst Joel Klatt has an interesting message for Michigan football fans — he thinks that folks in Ann Arbor should be “antsy” right now.

Joel Klatt has an interesting take for Michigan football fans

Sure, last weekend’s victory over Bowling Green wasn’t pretty; however, Ohio State and Penn State have both seen their fair share of struggles so far this year. In fact, even outside of the Big Ten conference, schools like Texas, Alabama, and even Georgia have not been looking like their usual selves lately. Still, Joel Klatt says that there should be some tension among the Michigan football fanbase due to recent lackluster play during the non-conference slate.

“With what’s going on in the Big Ten East, namely Penn State and Ohio State? I would feel antsy if I were you, Michigan fans,” Joel Klatt explained on his show, ‘The Joel Klatt Show.’ “The one thing that will derail your season faster than anything else is if JJ McCarthy starts to turn the ball over. That’s why I would be antsy.”

“I know you’re going to run the football fine, I really do. I’m pretty confident that the defense is going to play really well. The one unknown is how efficient can JJ (McCarthy) play? Now, he was really good a year ago until late. Obviously, the TCU game (last year’s College Football Playoff semi-final), it got a little bit loose, and guess what? They (Michigan football) lost.”

Thoughts on what Klatt said about the Wolverines heading into Big Ten conference play

Now, I am going to disagree with Joel Klatt a bit here in a few aspects. First off, Michigan football has not proven that it can run the football consistently yet, and the offensive line is yet to mesh. This idea that the rushing attack will be elite this year because it was last year is simply not true — it’s a hard thing to admit, but fans are yet to see the same bruising Wolverines that they did over the past two seasons. Not that it won’t develop, but so far, Michigan is not nearly as dominant on the ground as it was in 2021 and 2022.

Additionally, Klatt said that JJ McCarthy was good in 2022 until late in the season, which is really not that accurate. JJ McCarthy was not seen as a great quarterback until the Ohio State game hit — not to say that fans didn’t see the talent, but he struggled to really get things going consistently until the final three games of the year, including the Wolverines’ CFP loss.

Right now, Michigan football fans should not be too concerned, if you ask me. That said, as the weeks go by and the Penn State and Ohio State matchups get closer, we need to see more from the Wolverines. The fact of the matter is that, with Michigan’s schedule this year, the Maize and Blue can have many shortcomings and still begin the year 9-0 — it’s the final three games that will truly define the 2023 team, so long as they can avoid upset beforehand.


Thank you for reading Blue by Ninety. For more Michigan Athletics and Big Ten content from Blue by Ninety, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel. For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Cj@BluebyNinety.com. Also, be sure to check out our shop and our podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and all other streaming platforms. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing and most influential Michigan media outlets there is!

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