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Blake Corum LA-bound after being selected in 2024 NFL draft

The heartbeat of the Michigan football offense, the engine that helped drive the Wolverines to three straight Big Ten titles, three consecutive College Football Playoff appearances and a national championship in 2023 is officially off to the NFL.

Though he was a four-star recruit coming out of Baltimore (Maryland) St. Frances Academy, the expectations for Blake Corum probably weren’t as high as they should have been. The Wolverines had often signed top-tier running backs, but they didn’t always work out. Thus, it was expected that Corum was going to have to prove his worth.

He came in 2020 and started right away, getting the first carry against Minnesota to open the season. But the maize and blue already had Hassan Haskins, Zach Charbonnet and Chris Evans (who had to take 2019 off due to academic issues). Corum showed flashes, but it was early in 2021 when it became clear how special he was.

Ripping off long runs with regularity, Corum was the lightning to Hassan Haskins’ thunder. He was the star of the offense until he suffered a setback health-wise, which kept him sidelined for a few games and not at full strength later in the season.

He returned on a mission in 2022, not only looking like the best running back in the country but on track to win the Heisman Trophy before a meniscus tear in Week 12 upended everything. Having gone from a primarily speed player to showing more wiggle and finesse, the hard-nosed tailback had everything to his game.

Citing unfinished business in 2023, Corum made an unlikely return to the Michigan Wolverines. Though he didn’t look like his vintage self until late in the season, he was a touchdown-scoring machine, breaking the Michigan record for most rushing touchdowns in a single season. Delivering a national championship as a team captain, Corum departs Ann Arbor as one of its favored sons for life.

On Friday, his dreams were realized when he was selected on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL draft, going in the third round to the Los Angeles Rams with the 83rd overall pick.

While Corum’s on-field accomplishments will always be remembered, so will his off-field efforts. The Virginia native was known for his philanthropy, donating turkeys to the needy using name, image and likeness licensing money, holding massive toy drives and finding different ways to give back to the community.

In 2023, Corum had 258 carries for 1,245 yards and 27 touchdowns to go along with 16 receptions for 117 yards and another touchdown. His 2022 season, in which he only played in 12 games, consisted of 247 carries for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns. That built on his 2021, when he had 144 carries for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. With 3,737 yards, he is seventh on Michigan’s all-time rushing leaders and his 58 career rushing touchdowns is second, behind only Willie Heston.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire