Blake Corum has a tough decision to make about his playing future, which means NIL is working.

A consensus All-American and potential Heisman candidate for the University of Michigan Wolverines, Blake Corum recently appeared on the Adam Schefter Podcast.  He told Schefter he had not decided whether to enter his name into the NFL Draft and was “50-50” about returning to Michigan for his senior season.

This season, Corum rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns in 12 games. He also caught 11 passes for 80 yards and one touchdown. Unfortunately, a knee injury forced him to miss the second half of a game against Illinois and he carried the ball twice against Ohio State. So, Corum will be forced to lead his teammates from the sidelines throughout the College Football Playoff. 

Mock drafts and analyst draft boards previously projected Corum to be selected anywhere from the 2nd round to the 5th. It’s uncertain how the status of his knee injury may impact his draft grade.

Blake Corum

Blake Corum’s decision paints the benefits of NIL in college sports

The topic of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rights for college athletes has been a controversial one. Many critics argue that it could have negative consequences for college sports. With how chaotic the NCAA rolled out NIL, it is sometimes hard to blame them. However, there are many positive aspects of NIL rights and we are seeing an example of one play out right before our eyes. 

Up until 2021, college athletes were restricted from earning money without forfeiting their “amateur” status as a student-athlete. In 2017, former UCF placekicker, Donald de la Haye, made headlines when he chose his profitable YouTube channel over a spot on the team. The NCAA discovered that he was running a channel that generated income, and gave him the choice between keeping his channel or his scholarship and eligibility to play sports. De la Haye chose to keep his channel and left the school, drawing attention to the limitations faced by college athletes.

Donald De La Haye

It’s important to note that the vast majority (over 98%) of NCAA athletes do not go on to have professional sports careers. This makes NIL rights even more significant for their future opportunities. With NIL deals, student-athletes can gain valuable skills such as time management, financial literacy, and tax awareness. In 2022, entrepreneurship in the US grew significantly, and NIL offers student-athletes the chance to gain entrepreneurial experience.

In the case of Blake Corum, a Michigan football player who is considering declaring for the NFL Draft…

NIL rights give Corum the option to return to college and earn NIL money. In fact, he might earn more money through partnerships than he would as a rookie in the NFL. Whether this is the best decision for Corum is up to him and his family. It would certainly be a positive for the Michigan football team to have their MVP back. And their “Toughest Player Award” winner. AND their “Blue Collar Award” winner.

IF Corum decides to return to Michigan, he’ll again co-star with Donovan Edwards behind the nation’s top offensive line. That is surely a significant consideration. The Wolverines will have a plethora of depth in the running back room in 2023, however. If healthy, Corum shouldn’t be concerned with playing time. 

For Donovan Edwards, a rising star in the Michigan backfield, the potential return of Corum is exciting. With an expected top-5 offensive line, Edwards will have ample opportunities to showcase his versatility and continue to thrive. Even if he splits time with Corum.

A two headed-monster is exactly what the NFL is looking for now.

Braylon, Ryan and Maz discuss the decision of Blake Corum at the 52:25 Mark

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By Published On: December 21st, 2022Categories: NCAA

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