Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor Wins 2019 Doak Walker Award as Nation's Best RB

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 07: Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers runs for a touchdown against the Ohio State Buckeyes during BIG Ten Football Championship Game2 at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor won the Doak Walker Award for the second year in a row.

The Badgers star is the first back-to-back winner since Darren McFadden in 2006 and 2007, and Wisconsin now has more Doak Walker honorees (five) than any other school.

Wisconsin Football @BadgerFootball

He’s going baaaack to baaaack! The nation’s premier running back ... two-time @DoakWalkerAward winner ... @JayT23! #JT23 #OnWisconsin https://t.co/3GcEngQLBb

Among this year's top awards, the Doak Walker featured one of the tightest races. Taylor and fellow finalists Chuba Hubbard and J.K. Dobbins were the top three runners in FBS. Hubbard led the country in rushing yards (1,936) and was followed by Taylor (1,909) and Dobbins (1,829).

Perhaps he's a victim of Wisconsin's reputation for producing prolific running backs, but Taylor's achievements have arguably been overlooked. His absence among this year's Heisman Trophy finalists is evidence of that.

In just three seasons, Taylor has climbed to sixth on the all-time rushing chart, with 6,080 yards on the ground. He'd almost certainly pass fellow Badger Ron Dayne (7,125 yards) were he to return for his senior year.

Passing up the chance to enter the NFL draft will be difficult for Taylor, though. Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked him as the 27th-best player overall and second-best running back in the 2020 draft class.

Should he move on to the next level, Taylor can close out his Wisconsin career in style in the Rose Bowl against Oregon on New Year's Day.