For Reggie Corbin, the decision to return to Champaign for his final season of eligibility wasn’t an easy one to make. He teetered back and forth between declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft or coming back for one last run with Illinois.
Corbin ultimately chose to return to Illinois, giving the Illini a huge spark this offseason. The team’s most productive offensive player would be in the backfield again next fall, setting a solid foundation offensively for the 2019 campaign.
But the running back said his mind wasn’t made up until he made his announcement via Twitter.
“It was really close,” Corbin said in an interview with Illini Inquirer. “It literally came down to the day I tweeted it out. When I woke up that morning, I just knew that I needed to go back to school. But training with a lot of pros like I do with my trainers, you get around those guys and you start to bond with them and you feel like you belong. So that was a good sign. But ultimately, I had to do what was best for me and what I truly thought and believed in my heart.”
Corbin enjoyed a tremendous season in 2018, rushing for 1,085 yards and nine touchdowns for the Illini, totals that ranked sixth and seventh in the B1G, respectively. He was one of just seven backs in the conference to average more than 90 yards per game this year.
His production last fall is an incredible improvement from his 2017 totals. That fall, he had just 78 yards on 18 carries in an offense that didn’t appreciate or utilize his talents nearly as much.
Last year left Corbin hungry to return to Illinois and build off his successful campaign. Once he made the decision to come back, he knew it was the right decision.
“It came down to about the last day. But Illinois is home for me,” Corbin said. “I love it out here in Champaign, so it was kind of easy once I had my mind set on coming back.”