Blake Corum had to watch from the sidelines as Michigan lost to TCU in the College Football Playoff semifinals last season. So the Wolverines’ star running back returned for another year, hoping he could help bring the team’s struggles in the College Football Playoff to an end.
Monday evening, Corum did just that. His 17-yard run put Michigan ahead in overtime, and the Wolverines defense stopped Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe on fourth down to secure a 27-20 come-from-behind win in the Rose Bowl.
BLAKE CORUM COULD NOT BE STOPPED‼️
— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2024
The touchdown was Corum’s second of the game (he scored on an 8-yard reception in the first quarter) and the 56th rushing touchdown of his college career, which set a new program record. He finished Monday with 83 rushing yards on 19 carries and two receptions for 35 yards, as the Wolverines sacked Milroe six times and overcame a series of special teams miscues to reach the CFP national championship game for the first time.
Speaking to ESPN’s Holly Rowe on the field Monday night, Corum reflected on his experience last season and gave glory to God.
“I don’t really know what to say right now,” he told Rowe. “I’m just blessed. I want to thank God for allowing me to be here. This time last year, I wasn’t here, so I just want to thank God.”
— Holly Rowe (@sportsiren) January 2, 2024
Corum has rushed for 3,526 yards in the last three seasons, 1,463 of which came in 2022 when he was a unanimous first-team All-American. He will go down as one of the greatest running backs to ever wear the maize and blue, but Corum’s legacy in Ann Arbor is defined as much by the work he’s done off the field as what he’s accomplished on it.
The three-time All-Big Ten selection credits his parents with instilling in him a passion to serve God by serving others.
“Growing up, I’ve always wanted to give back,” he said on “Good Morning America” in 2021. “My parents always taught me: Believe in God. And God always gave. And so, give back.”
“Football is my passion but giving back is my purpose.” ❤️ @UMichFootball player @blake_corum used some of the money he earned from signing the new “Name Image Likeness” deal to buy 100 Thanksgiving turkeys for families in need. https://t.co/sTdemoIzeJ pic.twitter.com/yBaxHKiGfT
— Good Morning America (@GMA) November 24, 2021
Corum’s “Giving Back 2 Give Thanks” initiative has partnered with local organizations to hand out turkeys (600 this past November) and other food to those in need the past three Thanksgivings. He also organized a toy drive last month (more than 20,000 collected) with all donations going to Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries.
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He was named the captain of this year’s Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which “recognizes college football athletes for their unwavering commitment to community service and their ‘good works’ off the field.” And last January, Corum received the Collegiate Social Service Award for his community service work.
In his speech given at the event, where Reverand Jesse Jackson presented him with the award, Corum spoke openly about his faith and cited Scripture as one of the motivations for his acts of service.
“I’m a firm believer in Christ,” he said. “Acts 20:35 says: ‘In all things I have shown you about working hard, in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”’ That’s why I’m here. I’m more than an athlete.
“God has blessed me not only with athletic abilities but the ability to give. The ability to put smiles on people’s faces. The ability to make people laugh. That’s what it’s all about. Life is about the small things — the smiles, the laughs, the get-togethers. That’s what I believe. …
“Serving is what I believe God put me on this earth to do. I will continue to serve and bring communities together as long as I’m on this earth.”
God thank you for bringing me into another year with the ability to see, walk, and breathe. I ask that you watch over us as we take the field today. We praise you in everything we do O Lord. Thank you 🙏🏽🙌🏽
— #2⃣BeSavage (@blake_corum) January 1, 2024
No. 1 Michigan faces No. 2 Washington in the CFP national championship game Monday night. Kickoff from NRG Stadium in Houston is set for 7:30 p.m. ET. The Wolverines last won the national championship when they shared it with Nebraska in 1997, the final season before the Bowl Championship Series was introduced.
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