Jonathan Taylor Breaks Adrian Peterson's Freshman Rushing Record

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 31, 2017

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor (23) warms up before the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor set a new NCAA record for most rushing yards in a season by a freshman.

Per a tweet from Wisconsin, Taylor surpassed the previous record of 1,925 yards set by Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson in 2004:

Wisconsin Football @BadgerFootball

1⃣ Jonathan Taylor 2⃣ @AdrianPeterson 3⃣ @Ron33Dayne No player has run for more yards in his freshman season than Jonathan Taylor. #OnWisconsin https://t.co/awfTZJxfcC

Taylor came into Saturday's Orange Bowl against Miami needing 79 yards to break Peterson's record. He got it on his 12th carry of the game, which helped set up an Alex Hornibrook touchdown pass three plays later.

Former Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne ranks third on the list with 1,863 yards in 1996. His total comes with an asterisk because official NCAA stats didn't include postseason games when he ran for 246 yards against Utah in the Copper Bowl, which would have put him up to 2,109 yards.

It's certainly good company for Taylor to keep. Dayne went on to win a Heisman Trophy for the Badgers in 1999, and Peterson went on to be named NFL MVP in 2012 after running for 2,097 yards.

Taylor's college career is off to an excellent start, even before his record-setting run. He came into the Orange Bowl averaging 6.8 yards per carry and 13 rushing touchdowns to help the Badgers win the Big Ten West division for the third time in four years.


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