Dec. 20, 2013
• Reaction to Gordon's announcement
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin sophomore running back Melvin Gordon announced Friday that he will return to UW for his junior season. Gordon, who redshirted as a true freshman, was a Doak Walker Award semifinalist this season and ranks 11th in the country with 1,466 rushing yards and has scored 12 touchdowns heading into the Capital One Bowl.
“After talking it over with my family and my coaches, I have decided to come back next year,” Gordon said. “I love the University of Wisconsin and feel that there is still a lot of room for growth. Academically, another year in school will help me get closer to completing my degree and on the field I hope to help my team get back the Big Ten championship.
“With this decision out of the way I can now focus on helping my team prepare for the Capital One Bowl and a great opponent in South Carolina.”
“Melvin is a great player and a great kid and we are very happy with his decision,” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said. “We tried to be very supportive throughout the decision-making process and relayed all the information he needed to make an informed decision. I’m glad he can now focus on the bowl game and prepare for a great 2014.”
Named honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated, Gordon was the Big Ten’s lone semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, presented annually to the nation’s top player, this season. He was also a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation’s top running back.
After leading all FBS players by averaging 10.0 yards per carry last season, Gordon is averaging a nation-leading 8.10 yards per attempt in 2013 (min. 100 carries). He leads the nation (or is tied for the lead) in runs of 60-plus (4) and 70-plus (3) yards. Gordon is the FBS’s active career leader in yards per rushing attempt at 8.31.
Gordon has rushed for at least 140 yards in seven of Wisconsin’s 12 games this season. That trails only Boston College’s Andre Williams (8) and Washington’s Bishop Sankey (8) for the most games of 140-plus rushing yards by an FBS player.
Gordon reached the 1,000-yard plateau for his career faster than anyone in UW history, hitting 1,003 career yards on his 104th carry, a 7-yard tote in the second quarter vs. Tennessee Tech. James White previously held UW’s school record for the fewest carries to reach 1,000 career yards with 138 attempts.
Gordon also set UW’s school record for the fastest to 1,000 yards in a season by doing so on his 105th carry of the year. White previously held the record by reaching 1,000 yards on the 138th attempt of his freshman season in 2010.
With 1,466 yards this season, Gordon has a chance to become the ninth player in Wisconsin history to rush for at least 1,500 yards in a season.