Wisconsin Football Countdown: No. 25, Melvin Gordon


As the countdown to the first Wisconsin football game of the season continues, Badger of Honor is taking a look at Badgers by the numbers, checking in on a different Badger or Badgers players who wore the number corresponding with the remaining days until the Badgers head to Texas to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide Saturday, Sept. 5.

Next up in our countdown, signifying 25 days until college football is back, is Melvin Gordon.

Gordon may have just left UW a year ago, but he already ranks among the best ever to play the position at UW.

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The Kenosha native came to Wisconsin in 2011 and played in three games before taking a redshirt season.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Gordon played behind both Montee Ball and James White as the Badgers worked through an injury-ridden season at the quarterback position to earn a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. There, Gordon exploded for 216 yards and a touchdown on just 9 carries. Gordon and the rest of the rushing attack helped Wisconsin run away with a 70-31 victory to secure the Big Ten title.

Gordon returned his sophomore season and worked in a time share with James White. The duo combined for over 3,000 yards on 427 carries, and Gordon was named a Doak Walker and Maxwell Award semi-finalist, as well as a consensus selection on the second team All-Big Ten list.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

As a junior in 2014, Gordon was finally the main ball carrier for the Badgers, and he had one of the most memorable seasons in college football history.

2,587 yards

184.8 yards per game

7.5 yards per carry

29 rushing touchdowns.

Gordon was simply brilliant. He walked away with the Doak Walker Award, was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, was a Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist, a unanimous consensus first team All-American, the Grange-Griffin Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year, a consensus first-team All-Big Ten pick, and a multiple-time Player of the Week awardee.

His 2,587 yards last season set a new single-season Big Ten record and is the second most in FBS history behind only Barry Sanders‘ 2,628 yards in 1988. He was the fastest player in FBS history to break 2,000 yards, doing so on 241 carries. His 184.8 yards per game is ninth best all time in FBS history.

Gordon’s 32 total touchdowns tied for the NCAA lead and was second-best tin both Big Ten and Wisconsin history. He was also the third player in FBS history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and score 30 touchdowns in a season.

Gordon joins Ron Dayne and Montee Ball as the only Badgers to have multiple 1,500-yard seasons. He set new school records with twelve 100-yard games and six 200-yard games in a season.

He finished out his career helping the Badgers earn an Outback Bowl win against Auburn, 34-31 in overtime, setting a new Outback Bowl record with 258 yards and scoring three touchdowns to take home MVP honors.

Gordon was the 15th overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, and will soon begin his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers.

Who wore No. 25 first?

• Halfback Walter Weigant was the first Badgers player to wear No. 25 in 1927.

Who wears No. 25 now?

• Sophomore cornerback Derrick Tindal currently wears No. 25 for the Badgers.

Who wore No. 25 last?

• Gordon was the last Badgers player, along with Tindal (who still wears it) to wear No. 25.

Stay tuned to Badger of Honor as we continue our daily countdown in preparation of the season opener against Alabama.

Next: Wisconsin Football Experience

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