On Monday, the University of Michigan announced that three Wolverines had been named as Walter Camp Preseason All-Americans - kicker Jake Moody, running back Blake Corum and offensive lineman Olu Oluwatimi.
Jake Moody, Kicker
Moody was nothing short of stellar during Michigan's championship run in 2021, accumulating 125 total points, the second-highest total in a single season in Michigan history. In fact, Moody finished just 13 points shy of will tying Desmond Howard (1991) for the single-season point total record.
Moody ranks among the top six in Michigan’s season record book for field goals scored (22, 2nd) and field goals attempted (24, T-6th). His 56 extra points are also a Michigan single-season record.
Blake Corum, Running Back
Michigan fans may have forgotten that Blake Corum's name was beginning to be mentioned as an early Heisman contender following his impressive start to the 2021 season.
By the end of week two, Corum's 282 rushing yards over the first two games of the season were the most by any Wolverine since Denard Robinson's unbelievable 456 rushing yards to start the 2010 season. Corum also became the first Michigan running back to open the season with three consecutive 100-plus rushing yard games since Mike Hart - former Michigan running back and current Michigan running backs coach - did it in 2007. Even though a lower-leg injury briefly derailed his season in 2021, Corum still finished his sophomore campaign with 952 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
If Corum is able to remain healthy during his junior campaign, don't be surprised if you see his name pop up once again in the early Heisman discussion for 2022.
Olu Oluwatimi, Offensive Lineman
Oluwatimi started out at Air Force in 2017, but then spent the last four seasons at UVA. Here's how his career went while in Charlottesville:
2021 – Started all 12 games of the season and 32-straight, which dates back to 2019… Played 910 snaps on the season, the most by any ACC center… According to Pro Football Focus, Oluwatimi was rated the number two center in the nation in run blocking and led the ACC… Graded out at 88.2 percent (Pro Football Focus) and had nine pancake blocks against Illinois helping him earn ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week on 9/13.
2020– Started all 10 of UVA’s games at center… spearheaded an offensive line that ranked No. 1 in the ACC and No. 12 in the nation in tackles for loss allowed (4.2), while also ranking No. 2 in the ACC with 2.0 sacks allowed a game… called the protections for an offensive line that ranked No. 3 in the nation among “Power-5” schools in most rushing yards before contact per rush attempt (2.70), trailing just Ohio State and Notre Dame… had a 99 percent target success rate on pass pro opportunities, while his run calls through three games stands at a 96 percent target success rate… allowed only one sack and had 20 pancake blocks in one-on-one blocking situations for the Cavaliers in nine ACC games.
2019 – Started 13 of UVA’s 14 games at center… missed the start against Old Dominion with a hand injury, but played at both guard positions against the Monarchs… set the pass protection and had a 97 percent target success rate in five-on-five/six protections… allowed zero sacks and zero quarterback hits… helped block for quarterback Bryce Perkins, one of two quarterbacks in the nation with 3,000+ passing yards and 700+ rushing yards… blocked for Perkins as he broke the UVA single-season passing record and single-season total offense record.
2018 – Did not appear in any games… sat out season to serve a year of residence due to the NCAA transfer rule.
Oluwatimi should immediately factor into the rotation with Andrew Vastardis on his way out. Some younger players already on the roster, like Zak Zinter, Greg Crippen and Reece Atteberry, will also be part of the picture, but Oluwatimi seems like the most likely bet to win the starting center job in 2022.