The True Freshman Jonathan Taylor Heisman Resume

MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 14: Jonathan Taylor (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - OCTOBER 14: Jonathan Taylor (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

True freshman Jonathan Taylor is now 14 yards shy of 1,000 yards through six games this season. The tail back from Salem, New Jersey needs more of a discussion when it comes to the top players in the country.

True freshman Jonathan Taylor finally needs some Heisman buzz. I’m not going to write a story or a biased piece about why Taylor should be holding the trophy in New York on December 9. What I am going to do is tell you why Taylor has a case to be there. Or at least why he needs to be talked about more.

From the first game, the true freshman Jonathan Taylor was the leading rusher for the Wisconsin Badgers. In the second contest, he recorded his first 200 yard rushing game.

It was then proven that Taylor wasn’t just a non-conference fluke. He ran the ball for 80 yards and scored two touchdowns against Northwestern. Finally, there was his coming out party. He ran for 249 yards last week against Nebraska.

Wisconsin Badgers Football
Wisconsin Badgers Football /

Wisconsin Badgers Football

Everyone knows the Badgers have a history of great runners. There was a time where it was a given that the Badgers would have a 1,000 yard rusher for the season.  Since Ron Dayne, people my age have seen some fun running backs through the years.

The one in my opinion that was better than the rest is Melvin Gordon. It’s easy to say because he has the best stats, broke a lot of records and was drafted high. But seriously Gordon was the best. You were never out of it when he ran the ball.

This is what I’m seeing from the true freshman Jonathan Taylor. Last week Alex Hornibrook throws a pick-six as Nebraska ties the game at 17 with 10:43 left in the third. What happened next is something that only occurs when you have a great running back.

Wisconsin marches down the field in 10 plays and scores a touchdown. Taylor ran the ball six times. There were two other runs from Bradrick Shaw and Rachid Ibrahim. Alex Hornibrook only had to throw the ball twice. One was a 31-yard strike to Quintez Cephus and the other was a 5-yard touchdown throw to Cephus.

Nebraska had to respect the running ability from Taylor. He was busting runs all game and nothing changed on that drive. That eventually opens up the passing game in which Hornibrook took advantage of.

It’s great to see teams respecting your true freshman’s running ability which opens up the passing game. This makes Wisconsin one of the more balanced teams in the country.

Joel Stave was a very frustrating quarterback when he was at Wisconsin. But when Gordon was popping, they didn’t have to rely on him as much.

Hornibrook is a lot better quarterback. Taylor has the chance at being one of the better runners in Wisconsin Badger history.

He eventually scored his second touchdown of the game on the next series.

After that game, Taylor finally put his name into Heisman consideration. One of the experts on  ranked him fourth on their mock ballot.

Entering the game against Purdue, the true freshman Jonathan Taylor needed 233 yards to eclipse 1,000 yards for the season. He would’ve become the first true freshman to get to that plateau in only six games.

My initial reaction was, wow, that’s a lot of yards. Then this happened a few second later.

This kid is special. He’s doing everything you want a Badger running back to do and he’s only 18 years old.

Taylor wasn’t able to make history, but he still rushed for 219. He’ll get to 1,000 and join a great list of names who have reached that number in seven games as a true freshman.

Big Ten Network showed a graphic during the game of guys who have done it. The list included names like Emmitt Smith, Adrian Peterson and Marshall Faulk. Also worth noting, former Badger running back P.J. Hill was on that list.

Next: Wisconsin Football: Badgers Grind Out Win

We’re halfway through this season and true freshman Jonathan Taylor has three 200-plus games. He’s in the top ten in the country for rushing. Taylor has double-digit touchdowns. He plays for an undefeated Power-5 team. Taylor will be over 1,000 yards next week. Probably after his first carry of the game.

It now feels like every game is not going to be whether Taylor goes over 100, but came he put together another 200 yard game. The next question will be, can he reach 408?

The true freshman Jonathan Taylor will have a tough task at making it to New York on December 9, but his case is there. If not this year, Bucky will at least have him for two more seasons. It’s a real possibility we’ll see him there. And very likely having him holding the trophy someday.