Wisconsin Football: Badgers RB Melvin Gordon Has Chance to Win Heisman

Wisconsin RB Gordon Has Great Chance to Win the Heisman

4/22/14 in NCAAF   |   brettbachman   |   4 respect

Nov 30, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) rushes for yardage as Penn State Nittany Lions cornerback Trevor Williams (10) defends  at Camp Randall Stadium. Penn State defeated Wisconsin 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY SportsWisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 1,609 yards last season. Sure, he played the majority of every game and didn’t have any injury problems, but he also shared the ball with 1,444-yard rusher James White.

That’s 3,053 yards between the two of them. The Badgers as a whole rushed for 3,689 yards in 2013. Those are some gaudy numbers. But with White gone, can Gordon carry the torch for Wisconsin?

If he can manage to stay consistent throughout the year, it’s only a matter of time before he starts to enter the Heisman Trophy conversation as a major contender.

Gordon burst from the chute last year, tallying over 140 yards in six of his first seven games before coming into a late-season slump that saw White overtake Gordon as the feature back.

Tre Mason of Auburn got a trip to New York last year for 1,816 yards, just over 200 yards more than Gordon.

If the Kenosha, Wis., native can go over 100 yards in each game, he stands a good chance of becoming a finalist for the Heisman. Winning is unlikely, but just being there would solidify Gordon’s legacy among Wisconsin’s great running backs.

The Badgers open up next season against LSU, and after that look forward to some less-than-perfect competition. Their next most difficult contest may come against Nebraska, whose turnover problems doomed the 2013 campaign.

With White gone, Gordon will be used in a much different way. Sophomore Corey Clement provides a great check, but Gordon is a much more potent weapon than his younger, grind-it-out-at-all-costs teammate.

All spring, the Badgers have been working on developing a passing game to compliment the constant run threat Wisconsin boasts. With Gordon receiving a higher percentage of the total handoffs, 100 yards per game is certainly reachable, if not likely. 

With a flood of new offensive line recruits to bolster an already strong returning core, the Wisconsin front looks ready to help Gordon reach his goal as well. 

The cherry on top of Wisconsin's rushing cake is the return of fullback Derek Watt, brother of NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, who will be setting blocks up front for Gordon. 

All Gordon needs to do is perform when the time comes.
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