ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Everyone expected Michigan football to be a more passing team in 2022. Well, not so soon.
The running game so far, led by junior Blake Corum, has carried the load, which has more to do with his skill than any struggle in the air. Given his coaching position, it’s really not a surprise.
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Mike Hart looks up to Corum as a younger version of himself, saying if anyone were to marry his daughters, they would trust young Wolverine. On Wednesday, he immersed himself in the full running game, his emotions about returning to Bloomington, and much more.
Here is all he had to say.
What does the return of Donovan Edwards mean for the offense?
I mean, he’s a special player, we all know that. He is special. So he sometimes changes what we can do on offense when he’s in there. And you know, I think the biggest play of the game last week was when he got that fumble. I just think that’s the kind of kid he is. I think the way he reacted, the way he did that, I mean, it’s something that – he’s just a ball player and we got backed up and then a fumble happened , like it’s the biggest game in the game, getting that back. So I love seeing him again. He does an excellent job. He works hard. He’s just a great boy.
Is it ideal for Blake Corum to have 29-30 litters?
I told him he wasn’t going to break my records. But, I tell the kids, they know, we’ll do what we have to win. So, do I want to make 30? No, I want Donovan to do more races, CJ more races. But we have to do what we have to do to win. So feel like sometimes it’s better.
Will Corum be able to bear it better thanks to his weight gain?
Maybe, maybe not? I do not know. You know, I think 205, 210, 212 — what’s the difference? But I know he can carry about 30 times per game.
What did he say to CJ Stokes after the Maryland fumble?
I think just like I said about the running backs earlier, I just said I love them as a group. I think it’s not easy, is it? And I would like to put them back in the game. Donovan fumbled last year, at the start of the season. He came back right away because they were playing against another team. And I just think the way they supported him, the way they helped him, like he was doing nothing wrong. He fumbled the ball, it happens. But I just told him, I said, ‘Hey, keep your head up.’ Because I just think it’s a difficult situation.
Love the kid, love what he does. I love his way of working. He shows up every day. work really hard. But the most important thing for me was how the other running backs went to him. I didn’t have to. And that’s what I was happy about, pretty much.
We did not see Tavierre Dunlap. Why?
No, I think Tavi is doing a great job. He is a growing, improving child. I actually said to Tavi yesterday, I said, ‘Man, you’re way better than you were last year.’ And I say that in a positive way. Like, he is growing up and would love the game on the pitch as well. It’s just that you can’t put everyone on the pitch. So it does nothing wrong. It’s not that I don’t believe in him. I just think we’re going to do what we can to win, and they know it.
Is Blake Corum a young Mike Hart?
Good question. I need to think about it. I just think – I love Blake, and I think – and it’s not really your question but – I want to think of someone like I have two daughters. And one of them is a beast and the other is really nice. So basically, one of them acts like me, the other acts like his mother. And Blake Corum could marry my daughters anytime.
And when I think about it, I say like, you want your daughters to marry who you are. And that’s Blake Corum, in my opinion. I like the kid. We have a special relationship. But since I don’t want anyone touching my daughters, talk to my daughters. But Blake Corum, he can do whatever he wants. My four-year-old says, ‘When ‘Bwake’ comes home?’
So that’s it, the kid is special. He acts like me, he is me. He just eats better than me.
How does he support off the pitch?
Yeah I think I told you, last time I was here I think I told you guys that’s why I like doing it. You know, kids 18 to 22, I mean, young men, call them what you want. That’s why I do what I do. And he is special. Blake’s special. Donovan’s special. CJ special, Tavi special. I mean, we have a really good room. And that’s why I love doing what I do. If you look at Tavi, he hasn’t played much, but he’s so positive and he’s doing a great job. I’m just proud of them all, to be honest with you.
Does he feel he needs to constantly check in with them?
I treat them like I treat my son. When I feel something, when I know something, they get a text – all of them. It’s just that I treat them like Cameron – he’s my son. He’s the only boy I’ve loved and loved so much, that’s how I treat them. So sometimes they get yelled at. Sometimes they are reprimanded, sometimes – it’s all love. But it all depends on the situation.
Learn more about Donovan Edwards in the passing game
I think Donovan could start as a receiver of slots anywhere in the country.
He’s special coming out of the backfield and he can run the ball too. So he’s special. Blake can do the same as him, but Donovan does it better. So we, we play like I said, we’re going to do what we do.
Blake Corum’s Password Protection
I think he’s been great since I’ve been here. It’s just wanting it. You know, he wants to block everybody, hit everybody, cut everybody, do whatever he has to do, so. Yeah, that was good – that was a good block.
Emotions return to Bloomington
I mean, I think it’s still – I was there for four years. And I love Tom Allen and I respect this program very much. He helped me. He changed me. So I just have the utmost respect for them. At the highest level. Many of these young people that I have recruited help me recruit there. They are good. They play hard. And it’s not going to be easy. They always play us hard. And I was there for a few of them. So obviously there are strong emotions this week for me to go back. And just being around everyone from DA Scott Dolson to DFO Mike Doig is a lot of emotion. So I’m excited. And some of my best friends are on that staff. And so, it’s never easy, but you have to win. That’s all I care about.
Bounce outside or run inside
Yeah, I just think it depends on the game plan. I think Iowa was a three-yard game, get off. I thought the other game could bounce stuff. So they listen, and they do a great job. But I just think traits are just based on who we play. And you look at Iowa’s defense, they haven’t given up a lot of runs over 10 yards all year. I mean, for three years, four years, five years — really since 2004, when I was playing. Same defense, same people. And so you have to get three meters when you can. And some other teams, you can do other things.
Is there an advantage to having a smaller back?
I just think if you’re big, if you’re short, if you’re good, you’re good. And he is good. He should be a guy who’s gonna be
spoken for the Doak Walker, for the Heisman. We move like Blake moves. He’s a special player. I love this kid.
Emotions about the tunnel dedicated to Lloyd Carr
I like Lloyd. And when it happened, I’m like, I’m excited, for him, for what he’s done for me, for what he’s done for a million guys. I think it was well justified. He’s a special, special guy, and a special guy to me. Love him to death. So I will be happy to walk through this tunnel to answer your question.
Thoughts on coaches fired from their alma mater
Interesting question, interesting there. I mean, I never want to see anyone get fired, in life. And so it’s going to be tough. Like I said, I think as a coach in this business, everyone has a family. And you never want to see anyone fail. You always want to win. But I don’t want to see people fail, if that makes sense.
And I think it would never be easy. You know? Like, I always tell you guys, I can get fired tomorrow. I have a wife and three children. The other guys who got fired have the same thing, they have wives, they have kids. And so I never want anyone to fail. But at the end of the day, you have to do the work.
What is the identity of the offence?
I just think we do what we have to do to win. Run the ball, pass the ball – whatever, win the game. What is the identity? I mean, everyone knows how to run the ball. That’s what we do here, with what we’ve always done. But we are also very good at passing the ball. You have some very, very good receivers creating problems there. So I think we mix, we change and we win, whatever it takes.
Corum doesn’t do things like guarantee wins
I think I’ve been through the things that we’re talking about, and I’m just trying to educate them as much – like it’s not just Blake, it’s all of them. I just try in the best possible way, how to handle things, how to do things. I was a bit wild when I was young. You say crazy things. Glad Blake isn’t doing that.
Does the offensive line facilitate the movement of the ball?
Impressive. I told them the other day, I said Trente Jones was doing a phenomenal job. Schoony could block anyone in the country. Even if you look at Gio last week, in the game at left guard when Keegan was out, they just do a phenomenal job and are just proud of themselves. And obviously, Coach Moore has a lot to do with it. But they do a phenomenal job and are just happy the way they do it.