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What does Corum’s return mean for Michigan football?

Monday afternoon, Michigan football star Blake Corum announced that he will be returning for his senior season with the Wolverines in 2023.



Michigan football, Blake Corum
Nov 19, 2022; Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines running back Blake Corum (2) is tackled by Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker Calvin Hart Jr. (5) in the first half at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Monday afternoon, Michigan’s star running back — Blake Corum — announced that his time in the Maize and Blue is not over just yet. What does Corum’s return mean for the Wolverines?

Michigan football should be favored for many titles

Over the past two seasons, Michigan football has dominated the Big Ten and beyond. The Wolverines have a 6-2 record in non-conference play, and a 19-1 record in Big Ten play. Aside from Michigan’s 37-33 loss at Michigan State in 2021, U-M has been unstoppable in the Big Ten.

Since that loss in East Lansing, Michigan football is 2-0 against Penn State (21-17 in 2021, 41-17 in 2022) and 2-0 against Ohio State (42-27 in 2021, 45-23 in 2022). Additionally, Michigan brought Paul Bunyan back to Ann Arbor in 2022 with a dominant 29-7 beatdown of Michigan State in late-October.

Michigan is 2-0 in Big Ten Championship games since 2021, becoming the second team to win back-to-back conference titles in the championship game era. Ohio State was the first.

Michigan will finish the 2022 season as the No. 3 team in the nation just as it did in 2021 — this is the first time since 1947-48 that the Wolverines finished in the top-3 in back-to-back seasons. If that was not enough, Michigan has back-to-back College Football Playoff appearances, and could be gearing up for even more in the years to come. In 2023, the Wolverines should be favored to make another run at the conference crown and more.

It has been a long time since Michigan football was favored to win the Big Ten heading into the season; in fact, in 2021 and 2022 Ohio State appeared to be a clear-cut favorite. Still, the Wolverines continue to climb and establish themselves as the premier team in the conference. While Penn State and Ohio State will always pose a threat to the Wolverines’ crown, there is no reason to think that U-M won’t be able to win its third-straight Big Ten Championship this fall.

The Wolverines are brining in a good amount of freshman talent as well as an elite, 4th-ranked transfer portal class. Michigan’s portal class includes seven players, six of whom should play a major roll on next year’s roster. On top of that, U-M is returning many starters on both sides of the ball, most notably, quarterback JJ McCarthy and running backs Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum.

When the initial 2023 preseason polls come out, don’t be surprised if the Wolverines are No. 1.

Blake Corum brings much-needed leadership to U-M

As we have seen time and time again, Blake Corum acts like a glue that holds Michigan football together at times. U-M has become one of the nation’s most revered programs during Corum’s time in Ann Arbor, and a lot of the Wolverines’ much-needed culture changes have come due to his hard work. Blake Corum is a driving force for U-M both on and off of the football field, and having him in the locker room next year is a massive pickup for Michigan.

Blake Corum is yet another weapon on Michigan’s dangerous offense

Michigan football boasted a top-6 offense in 2022 — ranking 6th in both scoring and total offense — and should be even better in 2023. The Wolverines’ offensive line, which has now won two-straight Joe Moore Awards, should be revamped and just as good this fall due to its in-house talent and the incoming transfers. At tight end, Michigan football has sophomore Colston Loveland and 4-star transfer AJ Barner from Indiana.

The Wolverines will also have a veteran quarterback under center: JJ McCarthy. JJ threw for 2,917 yards, 22 touchdowns, and five interceptions throughout the 2022 season, not to mention his 79.3 quarterback rating. In 2023, I expect McCarthy to take another leap forward in his collegiate career and possibly develop into one of the best Michigan QBs of all time.

Most importantly, U-M returns the best running back duo in all of college football in 2023. This fall, we will see junior Donovan Edwards and senior Blake Corum take the field together for another campaign — this is massive news for the Wolverines. This season, Corum and Edwards combined for 2,454 rushing yards and 280 yards through the air. In total, that is 2,734 yards from scrimmage that can be attributed to Edwards and Corum, who will only get better as time goes on.

Corum himself compiled over 1,400 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground in 10.5 games this season before being sidelined with an injury against Illinois. With Blake Corum hungry for a revenge season, the Big Ten should be scared of Michigan’s offense this year.