Posted-November 14th, 2013 10:07 pm
MADISON, Wis. – For the fourth straight season a Wisconsin running back has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. Sophomore Melvin Gordon, who currently ranks eighth in the country with 128.9 rushing yards per game, is the latest in a long line of UW running backs to be recognized among the best in the country.
This marks the ninth time in the last 16 years a Badger running back has been named to the semifinalist list. Ron Dayne was a finalist for the award in 1998 before winning in 1999. Anthony Davis (2001), Brian Calhoun (2005) and P.J. Hill (2006) were all semifinalists. In 2010, John Clay earned a trip to Orlando as a finalist. In each of the last two years, Montee Ball was named a finalist, winning the award in 2012.
This year, Gordon became the fastest player in Wisconsin history to rush for 1,000 yards, doing so in just 104 carries. After leading all FBS players by averaging 10.0 yards per carry last season, Gordon is averaging a nation-leading 8.1 yards per attempt in 2013 (min. 120 carries). He has rushed for at least 140 yards in six of Wisconsin’s nine games this season and he leads the nation (or is tied for the lead) in runs of 60-plus (4), 70-plus (3) and 80-plus (1) yards.
Gordon is one of two running backs in the Big Ten to have surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground. The other one, Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, is also among the 10 Doak Walker Award semifinalists. Gordon’s 11 rushing touchdowns are tied second-best in the Big Ten, just one off the conference lead.
Doak Walker Award Semifinalists
Ameer Abdullah, Jr., Nebraska
Antonio Andrews, Sr., Western Kentucky
Ka’Deem Carey, Jr., Arizona
Mike Davis, So., South Carolina
Tyler Gaffney, Sr., Stanford
Melvin Gordon, So., Wisconsin
Tre Mason, Jr., Auburn
Bishop Sankey, Jr., Washington
Lache Seastrunk, Jr., Baylor
Andre Williams, Sr., Boston College