Ten Wisconsin Badgers we are most thankful for

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 06: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - APRIL 06: Jahlil Okafor (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Wisconsin Football - Melvin Gordon
MADISON, WI – NOVEMBER 15: Melvin Gordon (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Melvin Gordon

MGIII is somebody that is talked about as perhaps the most talented running back to ever play for the Badgers. His sprinter speed gave him the ability to separate from college defenders in a way we rarely see in the NCAA. Combined with the ludicrous numbers he put up during his time as a Badger, it’s not a difficult argument to make.

Gordon ran for over 2,500 yards in his final season in Madison and finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. If you recall that year, Mariota was the perfect storybook candidate. He had a great year as well, but nobody was going to beat him out for the award. Without question, Gordon was just as deserving from a performance standpoint and one of the best player in the country.

Gordon’s most significant accomplishment in my eyes is something that can’t be seen in the stat sheet or the highlight reel. His prime years in Madison were under Gary Andersen. Andersen was a fine coach, but the program took a dip during his few years as coach. It would have been easy for the performance of players like Gordon to follow suit, but that didn’t happen.

He bridged the gap from Bielema to Chryst and helped keep fan hopes high during a transition period in the program’s history. That’s a burden not many players could have succeeded with. But Gordon did.