Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor finished 6th in Heisman voting last year as a freshman. Can he do what it takes to win in 2018?
Jonathan Taylor quickly made a name for himself in Wisconsin, bursting onto the scene with explosive runs. Badger of Honor recently took a closer look at the sophomore, and it’s not hard to believe that Taylor could further expand on his first season’s stats.
Taylor finished the 2017 season with 1,977 yards on 299 attempts and scored 13 times. He also caught eight passes for 95 yards. Taylor was consistently running hard, breaking tackles, and just overall being a reliable force on the field.
Part of the reason why Taylor may not have been so high in the Heisman voting is just the fact that he was relatively unknown coming into the season. He wasn’t even really known to Wisconsin fans in the summer of 2017. Taylor actually figured to be second or third in the depth chart, behind transfer Chris James and the more experienced Bradrick Shaw.
Unfortunately, Wisconsin players have been rather overlooked when it came to Heisman voting. The closest a Badge came to winning was back in 2014 when Melvin Gordon finished 2nd in voting behind Marcus Mariota. But even then most everyone knew Gordon wasn’t going to win.
The last Badger to win the Heisman was, as any Badger fan would know, Ron Dayne. Dayne rushed 337 times for 2034 yards and 20 touchdowns in 1999. Since then Wisconsin has gotten used to seeing amazing running backs, but that can’t be said for Heisman recognition.
I don’t think it’s too far fetched to say that Taylor could reach numbers like this in 2018. Here are the five biggest reasons he could take home the prestigious trophy this year.