Blake Corum’s parents: Their sacrifices for him detailed

According to Blake Corum’s teammates at Michigan, he deserves to be in the Heisman Trophy conversation – and many onlookers agree. Blake’s rushing yards and touchdowns have contributed significantly to the Wolverines’ 8-0 start to the season. Michigan center Olu Oluwatimi told MLive:

“He’s probably our most valuable player, and know, we’re rolling as a team, and I would say he’s our best player. So, the best player on one of the best teams in college football, I think he should be at the top of the Heisman conversation.”

Corum’s parents helped him develop his other-worldly work ethic

Blake Corum was born on 25th November 2000 to Christina and James Corum. He grew up in Marshall, Virginia, alongside three younger sisters – Skye, Starr, and Rainn. 

James and Christina built their lives on hard work. He established his landscaping business in 1996 – a grind that forced him to wake up at five a.m. to marshal a crew performing laborious work. Christina was 14 when she landed her first job at a restaurant in Middleburg, Virginia. 

Blake showed he was special from a young age. James understood that for his son to tap into that special talent, he needed to work hard. He told Blake (Per The Michigan Insider):

“If you want to be good, you can be good in your county and be in the newspaper. If you want to be great, these are things you’ll have to do: 1. Work when nobody is looking. 2. Do the extra things. 3. When your buddies are hanging out, you’ll have to say no.”

Corum dominated his age group in baseball, basketball, wrestling, and football; he also performed admirably in class. “I knew if his academics were on straight, then football comes easy,” James told the Fauquier Times. “But at Pallotti he was a [3.7 GPA] kid and taking honor history and honor english.”

Furthermore, Blake made strides in his religion by building a relationship with his bible teacher. “We love her,” James said. “And he learned more about his religion.”

James told The Michigan Insider that Blake pushed himself so hard that he started telling the younger Corum to slow down: “Like, ‘Damn dude. Take a break. It’s OK. It’s alright. Take a break.’”

Unless something unexpected happens, Blake will realize his dream of playing in the NFL. James told MLive that hard work has been the driving force behind Blake’s success:

“He knows what he wants in life, he knows how to get it and he knows what he is going to do to get it. I always told him, ‘when you work hard, things happen. Nothing is going to be handed to you, nothing is going to be easy.’ That is kind of what he has done.”

Blake’s parents drove 150 miles each, five days a week, for two years during his stint at Pallotti

Blake received offers from college football teams before he joined high school. He couldn’t head straight for the NCAA, so he focused on high school football before selecting a college football program. 

Two schools stood out: east Baltimore’s St. Frances Academy and Maryland’s St. Vincent Pallotti. Blake would develop better and faster at St. Frances, but Baltimore’s insecurity proved too significant a deterrent to sending Blake to the private institution. 

Pallotti also had a decent football program and was close enough to the family’s home in Marshall, Virginia. By close enough, we mean 75 miles away in Laurel, Maryland. 

Christina handled the morning trip, leaving the house at 4.30 a.m. to get Corum to school by 7. James had to depart from Marshall by 3 p.m. to collect Blake at 5 p.m. and get home by 8 p.m. “I look back at it now and think, ‘How the hell did we do it?’ James said. “I wonder how we did it for two years.”

“It’s quite a bit, but it’s worth it,” Blake told the Fauquier Times. “I couldn’t thank my parents enough for sacrificing so much for me. It’s paid off.”

Blake and James started visiting colleges during his time at Pallotti. The pair said they were enjoying the trips around the country. James added:

“We’re both having a lot of fun visiting all these colleges, going to games. But I’m quite sure when it comes time to make a decision it will probably be a little stressful and difficult.’

Christina reluctantly allowed Blake to transfer to St. Frances Academy

The Panthers’ staff and head coach Ian Thomas convinced Blake’s parents that he would develop significantly at Pallotti. However, after Blake’s sophomore season, several coaches and players transferred, leaving the team in disarray. 

Christina and James considered other schools, but St. Frances stood out. Baltimore hadn’t become safer, but Blake’s parents were more receptive to the idea of sending him to St. Frances. James told MLive:

“He is pretty much a leader. He knew what he had to do. He was there to compete and get to where he wanted to go, and that was to college. That was his focus. There was not one time where I worried what he was doing.”

Nevertheless, Baltimore’s violence, corruption, and drug use concerned Christina. Blake stayed in Baltimore during the week and returned to Virginia on the weekends. James continued:

“My wife, she feared some. She would read the papers all the time and would talk to me about it. I would just let her know, ‘Blake is fine.’ Not one time did I ever fear that something was ever going to happen to my son.”

Blake benefited from the transfer as it exposed him to a higher playing level. “It just felt like I was playing against the best,” Blake said. James opined that the move to St. Frances benefited his son massively: 

“To me, it was a great move for him. He definitely matured a lot, even though he was always a mature kid. He got to play and practice against multiple other Division I guys. It was just a good experience.”

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