Mike Hart was one of Michigan Football’s best running backs of all time, and now he returns to his alma mater as running backs coach overseeing a talented unit.
Hart has liked what he’s seen from Michigan’s stable of backs (Hassan Haskins, Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards), but there’s one who shares similar measurables to that of Hart.
Hart was asked if Corum reminds Hart of himself, and Hart shared where comparisons can be drawn, as well as what the differences are.
“He works a lot harder. I think that the best (comparison) — size-wise, yes,” Hart said. “Blake’s a lot faster than me, a lot quicker than me. If I was that fast, I’d probably still be playing in the NFL.”
Hart is spot on with both points. While Corum is 5-foot-8, and Hart 5-foot-9, Corum ran a 4.44 40-yard dash at ‘The Opening’ Regional a couple years back and Hart recorded times of 4.67 and 4.69 at the 2008 NFL Combine.
The comparison doesn’t end with size alone, Hart also noted that the mentality Corum has reminds him of himself.
“He’s a great kid, but I think his mentality and the way he does things, the way he approaches the game is really similar to the way I did,” Hart said. “He doesn’t like making mistakes, he’s not happy when he makes mistakes. He wants to be perfect. And that’s something that reminds me of myself from that standpoint.”
Corum displayed speed a season ago but has since bulked up, adding muscle to his frame. Corum had 26 carries in 2020 for 76 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 5 receptions for 73 yards — numbers that are about to go up drastically as Corum will receive a steady dose of carries this season.
Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has seen an evolution in Corum as a back — Corum no longer has to rely on speed alone, he has become more well-rounded with an added boost of power and patience.
“Now he understands what it takes to be a high-level, collegiate running back. The plays he’s been making in practice — we all know that once he gets to the second level, there’s no one that can run with him or catch him,” Gattis said this spring. “He’s been able now to have a better feel for the position and patience has really paid off for him. He’s also got really elite ball skills out of the backfield.”