Melvin Gordon Named to Maxwell Award Watch List

MADISON, Wis. -- One of the most exciting players in college football is once again under consideration for the title of the best in the game.

Wisconsin junior RB Melvin Gordon was named Monday to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the national player of the year in college football.

A semifinalist for the award last season when he rushed for 1,609 yards and led the nation at 7.8 yards per attempt, Gordon joins Oregon State QB Sean Mannion, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, Baylor QB Bryce Petty and Florida State QB Jameis Winston as returning semifinalists for the award.

Gordon enters his junior season having already been tabbed first-team All-America by both Phil Steele and Athlon.

An explosive runner, Gordon is the FBS' active career leader in rushing average at 8.08 yards per carry for his career and led the nation in runs of 60-plus (4) and 70-plus (3) yards last season.

In 2013, Gordon combined with then-senior RB James White to break the FBS record for rushing yards by teammates with 3,053 for the season. Gordon finished the season ranked No. 11 nationally at 123.8 rushing yards per game and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.

Gordon is the sixth Badgers player to earn a nod to the Maxwell Award watch list in the last five seasons, joining Montee Ball (2011, 2012), John Clay (2010), Scott Tolzien (2010), James White (2011, 2013) and Russell Wilson (2011).

Former Badgers RB Ron Dayne is the only UW player to claim the honor, which he did as a senior in 1999 as part of an awards season that also saw him win the Heisman Trophy, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and Doak Walker Award.

Gordon is one of 10 Big Ten players named to the preseason watch list, as well as one of 23 running backs to be placed under consideration.

The watch list candidates were chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 3, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 24. The winner will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.


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