Top 10 Michigan Football Running Backs of All Time
Michigan Football boasts a legacy rich with talented running backs who have left an indelible mark on the program's storied history. From power runners to speed demons, the Wolverines have seen a diverse array of backs who have dazzled on the field and etched their names in the hearts of fans. This list honors the top 10 running backs who have donned the maize and blue, highlighting their achievements and the impact they've had on Michigan Football. Among these greats, current standout Blake Corum earns his place as the fourth-best in Michigan's history.
- Mike Hart (2004-2007)
As Michigan's all-time leading rusher with 5,040 yards, Hart's vision and durability made him a constant threat and a dependable player for the Wolverines.
- Anthony Thomas (1997-2000)
Thomas, known as “A-Train,” finished his Michigan career with 4,472 rushing yards and 55 touchdowns, remembered for his powerful running style.
- Tyrone Wheatley (1991-1994)
Wheatley's unique blend of speed and power led to 4,178 rushing yards and 47 touchdowns, making him a legendary figure in Michigan's football history.
- Blake Corum (2019-Present)
The current star, Corum, has already amassed 3,520 yards and set a school record with 55 rushing touchdowns, showcasing exceptional speed, agility, and vision.
- Jamie Morris (1984-1987)
Morris left his mark with 4,393 rushing yards, known for his tough and relentless running style and low center of gravity.
- Tim Biakabutuka (1993-1995)
Biakabutuka is remembered for his 313-yard performance against Ohio State in 1995, ending his Michigan tenure with 2,810 rushing yards and a reputation for elusiveness.
- Butch Woolfolk (1978-1981)
Woolfolk's combination of speed and power resulted in 3,850 rushing yards, making him a consistently effective contributor to Michigan's offense.
- Chris Perry (2000-2003)
The 2003 Doak Walker Award winner, Perry racked up 3,696 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns, known for his versatile and workhorse approach.
- Ron Johnson (1966-1968)
Johnson, a trailblazer with records like the most rushing yards in a single game (347), left a significant legacy at Michigan.
- Gordon Bell (1973-1975)
Bell, with 3,068 rushing yards, was known for his versatility and ability to evade defenders, playing a key part in Michigan's mid-70s offense.
*Note: Willie Heston (1901-1904) is not included on this list as the NCAA did not officially keep statistics at that time, there for he is not included in the Michigan Football record book. With that being said, some say he had a total of 71 rushing touchdowns, which would certainly put him on the list.
TL;DR (too long didn't read)
- Diverse Array of Top Running Backs: The list of Michigan's top 10 running backs – Mike Hart, Anthony Thomas, Tyrone Wheatley, Blake Corum, Jamie Morris, Tim Biakabutuka, Butch Woolfolk, Chris Perry, Ron Johnson, and Gordon Bell – represents a diverse array of talents and styles. Each back, from Hart's record-setting durability to Corum's explosive plays, brought a unique element to the game, showcasing the variety and depth of talent that Michigan Football has nurtured over the years.
- Legacy and Impact on the Program: These elite running backs have not only set records and won awards but have also left a profound impact on Michigan Football. Their contributions extend beyond statistics, encapsulating moments of brilliance and resilience that have woven into the fabric of Michigan's football legacy. Their enduring influence is a testament to their skills and the rich history of the program.
- Inspiration and Standard for Future Athletes: The achievements of these top running backs serve as a source of inspiration and a benchmark for future generations at Michigan. They exemplify the ethos of Michigan Football – excellence, determination, and a relentless pursuit of greatness. The legacy left by these athletes ensures that the tradition of outstanding running backs at Michigan will not only continue but also evolve, setting a high standard for those who follow in their footsteps.
The lineage of running backs at Michigan is not only a testament to the program's ability to recruit and develop talent but also to the enduring spirit of Michigan Football. Each back on this list brought their unique flair to the game, contributing to the rich tapestry of the Wolverines' history. From Mike Hart's record-setting runs to Blake Corum's current-day heroics, these athletes have provided unforgettable moments and solidified Michigan's status as a cradle of running back talent. Their legacies serve as a beacon, inspiring future generations and ensuring that the tradition of excellence in the Michigan backfield continues for years to come.