Michigan Michael Allio-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this month, Michigan Wolverines star running back Blake Corum made quite a surprising decision to return to Michigan for another season, along with a few other Michigan players who many thought might be headed to the NFL. And now we have a pretty good idea of why.

Blake Corum and his Michigan teammates had a few reasons why they might choose to return for one more season, like taking another shot at competing for a national title, but the NFL money is always very appealing. But now there’s a new financial incentive that might make what would have been a hard decision to return to Michigan a little easier.

As On3 points out, the Michigan NIL collective Champions Circle launched a special fund called the “one more year” fund, designed to provide Michigan players considering leaving early for the NFL Draft some financial incentive to return to the team for one more season.

While Corum said that his decision to return was driven mostly by other factors, he did acknowledge that the NIL money from the collective made that decision a little bit easier, knowing he would at least be getting something in return for passing up the NFL money.

“That could’ve played a little bit of a role,” Corum said of NIL while appearing on the In The Trenches podcast. “You’ve got to make the best business decision for you.”

Corum is also returning in part because of the recovery time on the season-ending knee injury he suffered late in the 2022 season. Returning to Michigan will likely do more to help his draft stock than anything else, as he would have likely been unable to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine or workout for scouts before the 2023 NFL Draft in April.