Donovan Edwards Must Be The Man for Michigan football In 2024

Can The Don Carry Michigan’s Offense?
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington
2024 CFP National Championship - Michigan v Washington / Logan Riely/GettyImages

"“I will go down as one of the greatest running backs to ever play the game. I’ll be up there with Walter Payton, Barry Sanders. I believe I will revolutionize the game and the position.”"

Donovan Edwards

Those are lofty words, to be sure, but Michigan football fans surely hope that Donovan Edwards lives up to them next year. They’ll need him to. With so much of Michigan’s offense leaving, there is no question that Sherrone Moore’s focus will be on establishing the run to possess the ball and open up opportunities for Michigan’s quarterback (whomever that may be) to be successful.

Whether it be opening up the play-action pass or being a dependable receiver out of the backfield, the Wolverine’s running backs will the the ones the coaches look to when the team needs a big play or a long drive to seal up a close game. 

In 2023 Michigan football was 51st in the nation in rushing attempts per game. They were 13th in 2022 and 25th in 2021. It would not be surprising to see them back in the top 10-20 next year and that means a lot of carries for Edwards who will finally be the featured back for this team based on his own merits and not because of injury.

2023 was supposed to be Donovan’s year to show that he was healthy and dynamic, the perfect complement to Blake Corum, able to hit the home run and be dangerous out of the backfield. It didn’t work out that way for the vast majority of last season. Prior to his 104-yard performance against Washington, the highest rushing total he’d had was 52 yards against Penn State. He only eclipsed the 10-carry mark in 5 games. 

There have been numerous articles and observations about the reasons why Edwards struggled in the time before the national championship game and it’s hard to disagree with any of them. However, the running back position is so much about vision and timing, and it has to be difficult when a player doesn’t have the consistent snaps to develop those skills in real game time. Blake Corum is perhaps the best Michigan football running back to wear the maize and blue and so it’s understandable why Donovan Edwards didn’t get those reps. 

But now, it’s all Don, all the time. 

It's time for Donovan Edwards to shine for Michigan football

He will have solid backs behind him including Kalel Mullings and incoming freshman Jordan Marshall, Ohio’s Mr. Football. But it’s Edwards’ show now and along with Colston Loveland, the Wolverines offense will only go as far as their talents can take it. Loveland has the handicap of not knowing who will be throwing him the ball, and Edwards is likewise facing adversity in that his entire offensive line is no longer there. 

However, Michigan is well known for its “next man up” ability when it comes to offensive linemen but that hasn’t been the case at quarterback. The Wolverines have promising players there but whoever becomes the starter will take time to develop and if Michigan football wants to keep with its winning ways, the running game will be front and center in those plans. 


Since claiming he was “up there” with Barry Sanders, Edwards has experienced both the lows of struggling through a disappointing regular season and the highs of being a key piece of Michigan’s national championship team. And in 2024 he will get a chance to prove that he can be the featured back and the one to, just like the greats he previously compared himself to, put the team on his back and lead them after so many Michigan football legends have left.