Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards combined to form one of the most powerful one-two punches in Michigan Wolverines history last season, leading the team to their second straight Big Ten championship and an undefeated season.
Unfortunately for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh’s team, Corum, a Heisman Trophy candidate, injured his knee against the Illinois Fighting Illini and was unavailable for the team’s three biggest games against Ohio State, Purdue and Texas Christian University.
Now, as the Wolverines prepare what should be a long and exciting offseason with countless opportunities to improve themselves and make another attempt at a national championship, Corum and Edwards are in the spotlight yet again.
According to Pro Football Focus, one of the top football scouting services on the Web, Corum and Edwards both rank among the top ten returning running backs in the entire nation for next season.
The information was shared via Michigan Football on UMGoBlue via their Facebook page.
Pro Football Focus tracks football games and assigns ratings to players for each game and season depending on how well they played.
The PFF ratings for NCAA Football’s top 10 returning running backs are as follows:
1. Blake Corum, Michigan-
Corum finished #11 in rushing nationally last season, a little over 100 yards behind the only player on this list who ranks higher than him in one less game.
Corum is a move-the-chains type of running back with power, speed and vision. His cutbacks remind many of his current running backs coach Mike Hart, as well as former Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders.
The Virginia native also had 80 yards receiving last season to go with 19 total touchdowns.
2. Quinshon Judkins, Ole Miss-
The Ole Miss running amassed 1,567 yards on 274 rushing attempts to go along with 16 rushing touchdowns as a freshman.
As the highlights below show, Judkins has a world of talent and could give Corum a run for his money as college football’s top back in 2023.
3. Raheim Sanders, Arkansas-
Sanders rushed 222 times for 1,443 yards with Arkansas last year. Known for his nickname “Rocket Sanders,” he has a chance of becoming the best college running back next season.
4. Bucky Irving, Oregon-
The sophomore ran 156 times for 1,058 yards and five touchdowns last season.
5. Braelon Allen, Wisconsin-
The bruising 236-pound Wisconsin native squashed transfer portal rumors this past season and plans to play for Luke Fickell’s Badgers next year.
If the team improves as expected by many, Allen could have an even better season than his 1,242 yard campaign in 2022.
6. Trey Benson, Florida State-
The sophomore had 990 yards last season and has plenty of speed and tackle-breaking ability.
7. Nicholas Singleton, Penn State-
The freshman and former five-star recruit lived up to the hype in 2022 for Penn State, His best game was a 124-yard performance against Auburn on the road, and he also went for nearly 200 yards on the ground against Ohio.
8. Miyan Williams, Ohio State-
The 225-pound Cincinnati, Ohio native was held to just 34 yards against Michigan in the final regular season game of the season, but injuries played a big factor.
He could put his 824 yard, 14 touchdown season total in the rear-view mirror next season if he stays healthy and Ohio State focuses more on the running game after being hyper-focused on the pass the last few seasons.
9. Donovan Edwards, Michigan-
In what was an unexpected and difficult change of fortunes last season for the Wolverines down the stretch, Edwards also became injured, wearing a cast on his right hand down the stretch of the season. The cast may have limited what many thought was Edwards’ best skill – receiving out of the backfield.
With a healthy Edwards and a healthy Corum next season, Michigan’s running back room could be the best in the country — especially if backups C.J. Stokes, Cole Cabana, Benjamin Hall and Tavierre Dunlap take the next steps in their maturation processes.
10. Frank Gore, Jr., Southern Miss-
Gore, Jr. ranked 16th in the country in rushing last season with 1,382 yards and nine touchdowns. The son of his famous father, a Miami Hurricanes legend, he doesn’t have the same type of hulking size as his father at this stage of his career, but there is plenty of room for growth and improvement.
See if you notice the similarities between Gore and his famous father in his record-setting 329 yard performance from the LendingTree.com Bowl against Rice last season.
Gore’s performance was the single-highest total in NCAA bowl game history: