NCAA Football

Michigan RB Blake Corum gives thanks during Ohio State bye week

Michigan RB Blake Corum gives thanks during Ohio State bye week

ANN ARBOR, MI. (AP) – Blake’s Choir grew up in a Virginia town with one light on a farm with cows, pigs and chickens.

He remembered not wearing shoes when he went outside to explore and create artwork on trees, painting with a mixture of charcoal and water.

When Korum was very young, this was the only game he could play.

“I was in the hospital a lot because of my heart disease,” Korum said in an interview with the Associated Press. “The doctors said I probably wouldn’t be able to play sports.”

Obviously they were wrong.

Corum has become a running star No. 3 Michigan (11-0, 8-0, #3 CFP).

He may prove to be the most key player in the The game against No. 2 Ohio State (11-0, 8-0, No. 2 CFP) on the road Saturday with a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game and a likely College Football Playoff berth on the line.

His numbers line up well with players at his position who won the Heisman Trophy of this century.

Corum could have a chance to win the award if he can put together an impressive performance in the win against the Buckeyes, as former Michigan stars Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson did before being named college football’s MVP.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pound, shifty and powerful running back rushed for 1,457 yards and 19 touchdowns, statistically putting him in comparable company with Heisman Trophy winners Derrick Henry, Mark Ingram and Reggie Bush.

Off the field, Corum seems even more special.

A day after injuring his left knee during the win over Illinois, he used funds from name, image and likeness deals to donate 300 turkeys, green beans, applesauce, milk, a winter hat and hand sanitizer to families in Superior Township and Ypsilanti, Michigan.

“It’s impressive that he’s not just here as a volunteer doing the work, he’s writing the check,” said Bilal Saeed, who helps Corum with NIL’s community initiatives and deals.

Corum, who also donated hundreds of turkeys last year, had to be convinced that publicly sharing what he was doing in the community would do more good than worry that some people might think he was trying to get credit for his charitable efforts.

“I’ve been blessed my whole life, so I just want to bless others and see them smile,” Corum said Sunday after visibly limping while handing out frozen turkeys and more during his second annual event. ‚ÄúThis is what I live for. I will do this until I die.”

Corum said he gives away half of what he earns with NIL deals, including donations Wolverine boots, gear and money from the Michigan offensive lineman deal.

“He’s amazing in every way,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. “A larger-than-life personality. Empathy is larger than life.”

Corum was raised in Marshall, Virginia, about 50 miles west of Washington, D.C., by parents who spent 4 hours a day driving him to and from St. Vincent in Laurel, Maryland, early in his career. in high school.

An undersized running back looking to get more exposure to major colleges, he spent his last two years at a boarding high school at St. Francis Academy in Baltimore.

“He’s a combination of Walter Payton and Barry Sanders,” said Michigan State assistant head coach Francis “Biff” Pogie, Corum’s last high school coach and the next coach of the Charlotte 49ers. USA Conference. “He runs with the same power as Payton and is as elusive as Sanders, with as good a jump shot as anyone I’ve ever seen.”

Korum’s parents own a landscaping business, and after putting him to work as a child, they noticed signs early on that he was a victim.

“Blake always wanted to put some of the money he earned into church giving,” his father, James Corum, said in a phone interview Monday. “Everything he does on and off the field makes me proud to have him as my son.”

Just as doctors doubted his ability to overcome a heart condition to play sports, Corum still hears from naysayers who say he’s too young to excel in football.

They were also proven wrong.

“People always said — and some still say it to this day — that I was too small and too short,” Corum told the AP. “It’s just fuel to the fire.”


Associated Press reporter Mike Householder in Ypsilanti, Michigan contributed.


Follow Larry Lage at


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