Throwback Thursday Tribute: Running Back Melvin Gordon

MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 15: Melvin Gordon (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
MADISON, WI - NOVEMBER 15: Melvin Gordon (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
Wisconsin Football - Melvin Gordon
MADISON, WI – SEPTEMBER 27: Melvin Gordon #25 of the Wisconsin Badgers breaks into the open against the South Florida Bulls on September 27, 2014 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images) /

This week’s Throwback Thursday features former running back Melvin Gordon.

Melvin Gordon is undoubtedly somebody Badger fans haven’t forgotten about or underappreciated. The local Wisconsin product was part of some huge moments in Badger Football history and had one of the most fun running styles I can personally remember. This trip down memory lane will be an absolute blast.

Gordon’s Game

Almost nobody made running look easier than Gordon. The way he could explode through holes and accelerate past defenders looked effortless. When you look up ‘homerun hitter’ in the dictionary you should find a picture of Gordon, not a baseball player. He was (and is, for the Los Angeles Chargers) that good.

Gordon was a tall running back for the Badgers at 6’1 and coming in at just over 200 pounds. His size allowed him to be one of the most impressive athletes on the football field and almost glide as he ran. His athleticism was rare for somebody his size. He was clearly fast, but he was also difficult to bring down. No Badger running back can go down on the first contact. That’s just not the Wisconsin Way.

Nobody doubted Gordon’s physical attributes. Certainly not opposing defenders. His numbers speak for themselves, but Gordon was so much more than just a stat sheet stuffer.

Gordon’s Legacy

Gordon was already a great Wisconsin running back, but the day he broke the single-game rushing record (in only three quarters of play) solidified his place in Badger lore forever. There’s more on that game and Gordon’s performance below.

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The long line of great Wisconsin running backs isn’t complete without Gordon. And he may have given us some of the most fun times during that stretch. He was arguably the most explosive and played during the Gary Andersen years, which typically don’t bring up fond memories.

Gordon is also one of the few Wisconsin running backs that is enjoying a successful NFL career. Wisconsin backs have either been too big and burly, therefore slow, too small, or just unlucky to succeed in the NFL. Gordon broke that mold.

Gordon just isn’t one of the greatest running backs in Wisconsin history, he’s one of the best in NCAA history. Perhaps more impressive than his 2,500-yard season in 2014, or his 408-yard performance against Nebraska, is his career yards-per-carry stat of 7.8, which currently sits at second all-time. He holds that record in the Big Ten by a solid margin. That’s the kind of record that may stand for generations. It just further shows how truly explosive Gordon was.

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As Gordon continues to produce in the NFL, he will help the Badger Football reputation grow. He’s a special player for more than just what he did in Madison.