College Football

Blake Corum’s Legacy Following the National Championship Title

Last night, the Michigan Wolverines put on an impressive game when they clinched the College Football Playoff National Championship title from the Washington Huskies following a 34-13 win. Both institutions had extremely impressive seasons as they went undefeated leading up to the National Championship game. One player in particular stood out in last night’s championship game and will go down as the best running back in Michigan Football history. 

Following his performance in last night’s game and his significant contribution to Michigan’s win, running back Blake Corum was named the offensive MVP of the National Championship game. There is no better way for a player to bid farewell to his collegiate football career than to secure the institution’s first national title since 1997 and win the offensive MVP award. 

How it all started

Corum grew up in Marshall, Virginia, where he would begin his impressive football career. Following high school, the Virginia native was ranked the No. 12 running back in the 2020 recruiting class as a 4-star athlete. He would then sign and enroll at the University of Michigan in January 2020. 

The running back’s first season with the Wolverines did not go as planned, as COVID-19 had interfered with the college football season. In the 2020-21 season, Michigan had gone 2-4, and the running back averaged 12.8 rushing yards per game. Corum knew that the team’s culture was not what it was supposed to be in 2020 and needed to change.

The acclaimed running back entered the 2021-22 college football season ready to make a change. In Michigan’s season-opening game against Western Michigan, Corum started his season with 111 rushing yards on 14 carries. In his second game of the 2021-22 season against the Washington Huskies, Corum clinched a career-high after securing 171 rushing yards on 21 carries and 3 touchdowns. 

Following the 2021-22 regular season, the Wolverines secured a spot in the College Football Playoffs. The team competed in the semifinal at the Orange Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs and unfortunately lost 11-34, losing their chance at a national title. 

The Ups and Downs

Corum returned to Ann Arbor for his junior season with Michigan. In the third game of the 2022-23 season against the University of Connecticut, he tied former Michigan running back Hassan Haskins for Michigan’s modern-era record of 5 rushing touchdowns in a single game. In the following game against the Maryland Terrapins, the Virginia native scored his all-time career-high of 243 rushing yards on 30 carries. 

The Virginia native suffered a knee injury in his game against Illinois, causing him to sit out most of that game and a significant amount of the following game against Ohio State. The running back needed knee surgery, forcing him to miss the Big Ten Championship game and the College Football Playoff semifinal in which Michigan would face the TCU Horned Frogs and unfortunately lose 45-51. 

Following his junior year, Corum decided to forgo the 2023 NFL Draft and instead returned to Michigan for his final season with the institution. While he could have declared for the NFL Draft, he would have likely missed many pre-draft workouts due to his six-month recovery following his knee surgery. The running back also wanted another chance at bringing the national title back to Michigan before his time at the university came to an end. 

This 2023-24 season, the Wolverines went undefeated despite the absence of their head coach, Jim Harbaugh, in the regular season’s final three games amidst sign-stealing allegations. The team persevered and found themselves competing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff semifinals. Following Michigan’s impressive 27-20 win in overtime, Corum rushed 83 yards on 19 carries and secured one touchdown. This win advanced Michigan to the National Championship game, giving the Virginia native one final shot at securing the national title for his school, and Blake Corum did just that. 

A Happy Ending and plans for the future

After rushing 134 yards on 21 carries and securing 2 touchdowns, Corum helped his team clinch the National title. This is the first time that Michigan has claimed the title since 1997 and the first national title since the establishment of the College Football Playoff in 2014. Not only did he help secure the national title, but Corum received the offensive MVP of the game award following his impressive performance. 

Corum’s next step in his football career is still unclear as he has yet to enrol for a fifth year at the University of Michigan or declare himself for the 2024 NFL Draft. The likely outcome seems to be the latter, as he appears prepared to take on his next step by entering his professional career. If the running back declares for the draft, it looks like he will be a top-100 pick as he is currently projected to be.

Despite having a rocky start to his collegiate career with COVID-19 and then a knee injury that caused him to sit out of the Big Ten Championship and the College Football Playoff semifinal in the 2022-23 season, Corum is leaving his legacy at Michigan following this year’s national title. He took a risk by forgoing the 2023 NFL Draft for another season with Michigan, but this risk paid off, as there is no better way for the running back to close out his career with the Wolverines.

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