Can Blake Corum or J.J. McCarthy from Michigan win the 2023 Heisman Trophy?

darren cooper
By:
Darren Cooper
22/08/2023/
News
Holding an American Football Ball

Highlights

  • Michigan hasn’t had a Heisman Trophy winner since Charles Woodson in 1997.
  • Both Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum are listed among the favorites to win the Heisman in 2023.
  • The Wolverines open the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press college football Top 25 and start the season Sept, 2 against East Carolina.

It’s about time another Michigan football player struck the Heisman pose with the trophy in his hand.

Michigan hasn’t had a Heisman Trophy winner since legendary Hall of Famer Charles Woodson walked away with the honor in 1997, before that Michigan great Desmond Howard won the honor in 1991.

This season expectations for the Wolverines are sky high after reaching the college football playoff last year and they open the season No. 2 in the main preseason college football rankings.

Michigan star quarterback JJ McCarthy and running back Blake Corum have each drawn notice on Michigan online sportsbooks as contenders to win the Heisman Trophy, given annually to the sport’s best player.

McCarthy is +2000 to win the Heisman at BetRivers, +1800 at FanDuel, while Corum is +3500 at BetRivers and +5000 at FanDuel.

Breaking Down The Heisman Race

University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams is the favorite on all of the Michigan sportsbooks to win the Heisman after he won the trophy last year, however, no player has won back-to-back Heisman Trophies since Ohio State running back Archie Griffin in 1974-1975.

Today’s football is a quarterback-driven game, which sets up McCarthy nicely. No Michigan quarterback has come back to the field with this much hype, not even Tom Brady.

Eight of the last 10 Heisman Trophy winners have been quarterbacks. McCarthy started 13 games last year throwing for 2,719 yards (eighth most for any Michigan QB in a season) and 22 touchdowns. He was third-team All-Big Ten.

The Case for Corum

A running back hasn’t won the Heisman Trophy since 2015 (Derrick Henry from Alabama) but Corum has the game and name recognition to break through.

Corum finished seventh in the Heisman balloting last season. He ran for 1,494 yards and 18 touchdowns (third most in Michigan history). He tied a school record with five touchdowns against U.Conn.

What Michigan fans know is that Corum got hurt in the second-to-last regular season game against Illinois. He valiantly tried to play in The Game against Ohio State, but only lasted two plays. He had surgery on his knee, but was cleared and has been a full go for pre-season practices.

Corum is sure to get a lot of carries this season and plenty of highlights. With its soft easy schedule, especially to open, Corum can get in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

All Eyes on Michigan

It’s been a crazy off-season in college football, with teams shifting conferences, but the Big 10 is stable with Michigan and Ohio State at the top. The Buckeyes – as usual – are just behind the Wolverines in the rankings.

Of course, the Top 5 is dominated by the schools in the Southeastern Conference, with Georgia No. 1, Alabama No. 4 and LSU at No. 5, but they’ll all knock each other off during the season.

Michigan is a five-touchdown favorite against East Carolina in the opener at BetRivers and +750 to win the national title. They better not look past the Pirates, however, who finished last season 8-5 and won a bowl game.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.