We're now three weeks into the season and one thing is clear — sophomore running back Blake Corum is a current and rising superstar.
The 5-8, 200-pounder has been Michigan's Player of the Week twice already and picked up Big Ten Player of the Week honors last week well. Through three games he has 48 carries for 407 yards and seven touchdowns. He also has six catches for 46 yards and another score. Throw in an 80-yard kick return and you have what you have — an elite weapon.
Saturday against Northern Illinois, Corum became the first Michigan running back this century to account for three rushing touchdowns in back-to-back games. He's also the first running back to start a season with three consecutive 100-yard games since his coach, Mike Hart, did it in 2007. He's doing all of this with relative ease and angle-erasing speed. Corum has scored on touchdowns of 30 yards against Western Michigan, 67 last week against Washington and 51 today against Northern Illinois. He's a legitimate home run threat every time he touches the ball and has also graded out extremely well as a pass blocker.
Corum continues to make safeties pay for taking poor angles and he simply hits another gear once he gets into the open field. None of it is by accident either. Corum is one of the hardest working players on the team and has taken his God given talent to another level by grinding in the weight room and training in every way possible. Head coach Jim Harbaugh was extremely complimentary of Corum after the game.
"Blake Corum — special player," Harbaugh said. "The way he trains in the offseason. Let me just describe that to you for a bit. It’s all out, all the time. His endurance, his strength — he’s like a stalker of finding ways to get into the weight room. The door is always open to getting stronger, getting better.
"From the day he got here, from the day he arrived on campus, he’s just a tremendous example of somebody that has an amazing, tremendous work ethic. He gets that from his dad, James Corum. The branch doesn’t fall too far from the tree. I've just been watching him for the year and a half he’s been here and it’s been like that. To watch it show up on Saturdays is something to behold. He’s a shining star. He’s playing great football."
The hashtag #BlakeCorumForHeisman is actually a thing on Twitter right now, and while it sounds like hyperbole, it's not. It's only been three games, but no running back has been better than Corum overall. He's going to be near the top of the list in all of the important running back metrics — yards, rushing touchdowns, yards per carry and yards per game.
Corum's success will likely continue next week against Rutgers, and then it gets real on the road against Wisconsin in week five. If Corum shines again next week, and then finds success against the Badgers, that hashtag will be trending in more places than just Ann Arbor.