For many obvious reasons, Wisconsin Badgers fans would love to see running back Melvin Gordon return for one more year. But for Gordon the decision is not that easy and he has until January 15th, the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, to answer this question:
Should I stay or should I go?
Let’s take a look at the bigger unknown right now which would be if Melvin Gordon left Madison for the NFL. We don’t know what the NFL Draft Advisory Board will have to say about Gordon’s draft stock, but I can’t imagine it will be horrible. Even though Gordon only found the end zone once in the last five games and managed one 100 yard game in those final five games, he still managed to rush for 1,466 yards and 12 touchdowns. And don’t forget Gordon was generating Heisman talk in the first half of the season.
With James White graduating that would leave Gordon and freshman Corey Clement battling for the starting position. Oh yeah, and there’s a pretty good recruit out there named Joe Mixon that possibly could choose Wisconsin as his college of choice and would step on campus as a viable starting candidate. Does Gordon want to share the spotlight once again?
Also many scouts like Gordon’s size (6’ 1”, 207 pounds) and the fact that there’s not much wear on the tires makes Gordon look even more compelling.
So let’s tackle the other side of the ball, the side that most if not all fans of the Wisconsin Badgers would want Melvin Gordon to do. Stay in Madison.
Under first year head coach Gary Andersen the Badgers went 9-3 and stayed with the classic running attack that is synonymous with Wisconsin football. Next season I don’t see why the Badgers won’t contend for a Big Ten championship once again. Not to mention, you can’t help but think that if he returns Gordon would be a top five favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. Gordon has thought of that as well, when asked if he thought about making a run at the Heisman he had this to say:
If I stay I’ll be a contender.
There’s no doubt he will be a contender and be in the discussion all year long. Not to mention this Badgers offensive line will be great once again as always. If I was a prominent running back I would love to run behind a line like that.
Melvin Gordon’s parents are split on the topic. His father says one more year in Madison while his mother, who at first agreed with that statement, is now thinking a jump to the NFL would be in her son’s best interest. Both obviously support whatever decision he decides to make.
Gordon says he will make his decision sometime after the New Year’s Day Capital One Bowl. Depending on what the advisory board says, that game could be the final decision maker. Playing well against a tough run defense of South Carolina could vault him into next year’s NFL draft. A mediocre game and Melvin Gordon could return to Madison for one more year.
As for this writer’s opinion, I think Gordon enters the 2014 NFL Draft. That’s just my personal opinion looking at the situation. One thing is certain, it will be one of the hardest decisions Gordon will have to make in his life up to this point.