The Wisconsin Badgers received some excellent news on Friday when UWBadgers.com reported that star running back Melvin Gordon will return for his junior season.
Gordon mentioned his desire to grow as a student and as a football player for reasons why he will be returning to the Badgers in 2014:
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.
Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen was thrilled with the news:
Melvin is a great player and a great kid and we are very happy with his decision. 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.
Andersen’s excitement is understandable considering how brilliant Gordon was in 2013 and how important his performance was to the Badgers’ eighth-ranked rushing attack.
Gordon, a redshirt sophomore, was a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award for the nation’s best running back after recording 1,466 rushing yards (11th in the country) and 12 touchdowns. The running back was also named as an honorable mention for Sports Illustrated’s All-American team.
Gordon is a big-play threat for the Badgers offense. He is currently the FBS’s active career leader in yards per rushing attempt at 8.31.
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With another year in Madison, Gordon will help the Badgers in their quest for next year’s Big Ten crown after coming up short in 2013 with a 9-3 record. He will also enter the year as one of the top prospects for the 2015 draft, and a top preseason candidate for the Heisman Trophy.