Blake Corum announced Monday that he will return to Michigan for another season in 2023.

It makes sense for Corum. who's rehabilitating from a knee injury. Another season at Michigan gives him an opportunity to recover the NFL Draft stock he's lost since getting hurt, and you know that'll happen given that Corum's a solid player and Michigan's offensive line will give him ample opportunity to compile impressive stats.

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But Corum's return could cost Michigan another valuable offensive weapon, one that might be better.

Donovan Edwards was the 2 in Michigan's 1-2 punch at running back this year. He carried the ball 140 times for 991 yards — a 7.1 yards per carry average — and 7 touchdowns. Those numbers largely pale in comparison to Corum's in 2022 — 247 carries for 1,463 yards, 5.9 yards per carry, and 18 touchdowns.

But Edwards' performances in Michigan's final three games had many wondering, despite a year from Corum that curried Heisman consideration for several weeks, whether Michigan had been featuring the right back.

Here are Edwards' stat lines from the Wolverines' last three games:

  • At Ohio State: 22 carries, 216 yards, 9.82 yards per carry, and 2 touchdowns
  • Vs. Purdue (Big Ten championship game): 25 carries, 185 yards, 8.41 yards per carry, and 1 touchdown
  • Vs. TCU (College Football Playoff semifinal): 23 carries, 119 yards, 5.17 yards per carry,

In all, Edwards carried the ball 70 times for 520 yards, averaging 7.43 yards per carry, and 3 touchdowns against those three opponents, two of which were College Football Playoff qualifiers.

Edwards, who's entering his junior season in 2023, has proven he's more than ready and deserving of featured-back duties. For a guy with the kind of numbers he put up on some of college football's biggest stages, and in the context of today's era of player movement through one-time instant-eligibility via the Transfer Portal, Edwards could find Corum's announcement on Monday problematic. Other schools, ones who could offer Edwards prime carries, could also come calling with lucrative NIL offers.

Michigan's production in the run game didn't miss a beat when Edwards took over for an injured Corum. And a guy who looked as good as Edwards did during that span and put Ohio State down in Columbus with fourth-quarter touchdown runs of 75 and 85 yards isn't going to love the idea of backing the same guy up for a third year.

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