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Reggie Corbin will return for senior season

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Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Northwestern Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

We need good news.

We have good news.

Illinois redshirt-junior tailback Reggie Corbin announced on Saturday via a tweet that he will pass up the NFL Draft and return for his senior season with the Illini.

Shoutout to Colton Rahn for being in the photo with Corbin. You may remember Colton from #ColtonCourage last winter. Corbin coached Rahn’s flag football team in Tuscola last summer.

Corbin had a humungous breakout year last season, rushing for 1,085 yards, nine touchdowns, and being named All-Big Ten Third Team.

“Reggie has probably been our most consistent player throughout this season,” said offensive coordinator Rod Smith in November. “He’s done an outstanding job week in and week out. He comes to work every day of practice — and he does it like he’s playing for a championship every weekend. He puts that much into his craft, and it’s paying off for him on Saturdays.”

Corbin crossed the 1,000-yard plateau vs. Nebraska in November, but his day was cut short after suffering a leg injury in the middle of the second quarter. He had already posted 59 yards on just nine attempts and looked as if he was on his way to another impressive performance after putting up 213 rushing yards against Minnesota the week prior.

On being the first Illini to pass the 1,000-yard mark since 2010, Corbin said: “You can’t really feel satisfied right now. Maybe after this season I’ll feel satisfied for about two or three days, but right now, there’s no satisfaction. Just happy for my offensive line, and that it makes the offense feel like we actually did something. It’s in the record books forever, so hopefully that means more to my family.”

Corbin burst onto the scene as a freshman, racking up over 500 yards on fewer than 90 carries, even getting the starting nod twice. But as a sophomore, he saw his playing time and his production decrease under offensive coordinator Garrick McGee.

Expect another big year from Corbin in the Illini’s backfield, with an experience offensive line and a whole offseason in Rod Smith’s offense. While it is unknown who the Illini’s QB will be — MJ Rivers or Isaiah Williams — he’ll have a fantastic back to hand it off to.

And don’t worry. If Reggie goes off again in 2019, he’ll hear his name called in 2020, no doubt about it.

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