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How great leadership, deep roster can propel Michigan Football to a championship run

Michigan has all the right pieces to create havoc and magic this season.

Illinois v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan running Blake Corum is full systems go heading into fall camp, mentally and physically. Corum seemed destined for a Heisman Trophy run last season before injuring his knee against Illinois late in the year.

Michigan would be without Corum for nearly all of the Ohio State game the following week, and then he had knee surgery before the Big Ten Championship, which ended his 2022 campaign.

While Michigan pushed on and appeared in the College Football Playoff Semifinal (Fiesta Bowl), Corum’s injury presented a major ‘What if?’ last year.

What if Corum was healthy, could Michigan have won a National Championship?

Corum’s coming back to Michigan due to what he classifies as “unfinished business” on and off the field.

Back-to-back Big Ten Championships are nice, but there are bigger prizes to attain, and that’s the standard Corum and the coaching staff has for this team. Push beyond what they’ve already accomplished. Reach the apex.

Getting to where Corum wants to be won’t be done by merely wishing or speaking it into existence, it’ll be done by doing things right “day to day.”

Corum said that the team has “gotta get over the hump” and that “talk is cheap”. Corum doesn’t want to get too high or too low, he just wants to push forward and get to work.

“We’ve had enough dreaming,” Corum explained at Big Ten Media Day. “We’ve had enough talk about the national championship. Now it’s day to day.”

The day-to-day begins with focusing on training camp, and then going from there and performing well in Week 1 against East Carolina.

“We got to beat ECU first. We can’t think too far ahead,” Corum said. We have to take care of the regular schedule and beat our rivals. Then we get there.”

Taking care of business will be made easier with a great roster, arguably the deepest of the Jim Harbaugh era. There’s loads of talent on both sides of the ball. This could be the most balanced offense in Michigan history, and it could be one of the most dynamic on defense.

“We have a team that is very special right now,” Corum said. “A lot of guys came back.”

Head coach Jim Harbaugh had similar thoughts to that of Corum at Big Ten Media Day. The team isn’t thinking about their accomplishments in 2021 and 2022, they know past success doesn’t lead to a bright future if they don’t dig down even more.

“I think our team’s as healthy as you could ask for,” Harbaugh said. “Very talented and extremely hard work ethic. Not one of them wants to hear about what they did last year or the last two years. It’s always ‘Coach, we’re doing it again, doing it now, and now is the time that matters.’ That’s the kind of attitude and effort and talent we’re taking into the start of this training camp.”

Michigan defensive lineman Kris Jenkins said that the team has a responsibility to write their own destiny.

“We have to work on that as Team 144 and that’s why we focus on moving forward every day,” Jenkins said.

The best part about all of this for the Michigan team, they really seem to like each other. Team chemistry can’t be faked or bought, it’s something that has to naturally materialize.

“I believe the camaraderie and the growth, brotherly love that we have within each other right now is crazy,” Corum said.

The dreaming is over, the pads are popping in practice, and the aches and pains could lead to triumphs this fall. It won’t be easy, and the Michigan team wouldn’t want it any other way.