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Daily Brews: J.J. McCarthy, Blake Corum among most likely Wolverines to win the Heisman per The Athletic

Two Wolverines could be headed to New York if they have a big season.

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOV 19 Illinois at Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Each year The Athletic does a fantasy football-style draft as their college football experts select a team of four players who could win the Heisman Trophy. There is a scoring system in place based on how each player finishes in December, with the winning writer gets bragging rights for the offseason.

This year, eight writers contributed totaling 28 picks. Two of them were Michigan Wolverines: quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Blake Corum.

With the third pick in the second round (No. 11 overall), Bruce Feldman selected the Wolverines’ signal caller.

This is the most talented team Jim Harbaugh’s had since he’s been at Michigan. The Wolverines have a terrific offensive line and the best running back combination in the country. McCarthy doesn’t need to put up Patrick Mahomes-like passing numbers to make a legit Heisman case; he showed in Columbus that he can lead his team to a big win in a huge setting. If Michigan is a Playoff team — and I think it will be — at the very least I expect him to be a Heisman finalist.

Interestingly enough, McCarthy was the ninth quarterback off the board. That’s behind first-year starters Carson Beck (Georgia), Kyle McCord (Ohio State), and Cade Klubnik (Clemson). The top-five also included Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The basis for all of these quarterbacks being selected over McCarthy was because of the offensive schemes they play in, but it’s still a little shocking to see some selected over Michigan’s quarterback.

Just a few picks later was Corum at No. 14 by David Ubben. He was the first running back off the board, coming in the latter half of the second round:

I’m concerned about a committee with Donovan Edwards, but Michigan will be up big in plenty of games, and Jim Harbaugh still wants to smash opponents at the line of scrimmage. It’s hard to see the Wolverines not winning at least 10 games, and as long as Corum can avoid the injuries that halted his Heisman campaign last year (and his streak of eight consecutive 100-yard games), he’ll be back in the mix for sure.

It’s pretty much the consensus Corum is the top returning back in college football. The concern for his Heisman candidacy is two-fold. First, Donovan Edwards performed at a really high level without him; not only will he be getting more playing time in 2023, but the voters could chalk it up to any back being this good in the Harbaugh offense, whether that is fair or not. Second, this offense throw the ball a bit more this fall, which could lead to even fewer touches coming Corum’s way.

Other backs who made the cut were all drafted in the third round or later: Ole Miss’ Quinshon Judkins, Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson, Clemson’s Will Shipley, Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen and Penn State’s Nick Singleton.

So in The Athletic’s eyes, two Wolverines are in the top-15 of possible candidates for the Heisman Trophy, and there is definitely a path for them to be in New York by the year’s end.

What say you:


Which Wolverines is more likely to win the Heisman?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    J.J. McCarthy
    (53 votes)
  • 56%
    Blake Corum
    (68 votes)
121 votes total Vote Now