Corum Aiming High, Pursuing Dreams Beyond Football

August 21, 2023

Athlete Studio

In a strategic move that blends football aspirations with an eye for future endeavors, Blake Corum's decision to return for his senior season at Michigan speaks to a broader ambition. Following his declaration to rejoin Michigan, Corum and his father embarked on a distinct venture, purchasing a house in Corum's hometown of Warrenton, Va. The property's three bedrooms and two baths required a touch of renovation, which the duo undertook themselves. Initially intending to sell, they pivoted and chose to lease the property instead. As they look ahead to the future, the Corums are already contemplating their next real estate investment.

This business acumen that Corum exudes is inherited from his father, James, an accomplished entrepreneur who imparts the wisdom of shrewd investments. James Corum succinctly captures their ethos, stating, "We know how to turn one dollar into two dollars."

Yet, while the Corums demonstrate a knack for real estate ventures, Blake Corum's most substantial investment remains in himself. Electing to prolong his collegiate career at Michigan, Corum seeks not only the thrill of the gridiron but also the pursuit of his dreams beyond the field. His senior year represents an opportunity to seize experiences he missed in the previous season: the prospect of clinching a Big Ten championship, making a bid for the Heisman Trophy, and vying for a spot in the College Football Playoff. However, Corum's ambitions reach beyond these sporting accomplishments.

Corum envisions a multifaceted future, one where he embraces roles as an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and potentially a sports broadcaster. With the recognition that the NFL's running backs face the ongoing challenge of validating their value, Corum employs a forward-thinking strategy. By capitalizing on his position at Michigan, he positions himself for post-football success.

Corum's name, image, and likeness (NIL) earnings reflect his prominence not only on the field but also within the collegiate branding market. Collaborating with brands like Wolverine boots, Derek Jeter's Greatness Wins apparel company, and local businesses, Corum has solidified his financial foundation. Shortly before his announcement, the Champions Circle collective orchestrated a "One More Year" crowdfunding campaign, yielding $135,000 for Corum and three fellow senior athletes.

While Corum acknowledges the gesture, his choice to continue at Michigan was steered by more than financial incentives. Nonetheless, the emerging entrepreneur discerns the potential of NIL earnings, highlighting the beneficial financial prospects for collegiate stars.

Corum's calculation to postpone an NFL career aligns with a risk-reward assessment. Prior to his knee injury, he ranked as a top-70 draft prospect—akin to former Michigan and UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, the 52nd pick selected by the Seattle Seahawks. Charbonnet's rookie contract included a reported $2 million signing bonus, guarantees amounting to $3.8 million, and an overall valuation of $6.9 million over four seasons.

Corum's journey encompasses not only the football realm but also his pursuit of broader goals. He discerns an avenue to becoming a prosperous entrepreneur, starting with a single rental property but envisioning a future in multifamily homes and apartment complexes. By leveraging his collegiate football prominence, Corum could build a flourishing business to complement his on-field earnings. This strategic approach echoes his resolve to extend his Michigan tenure, ultimately culminating in a fruitful career that transcends football.

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