After a sophomore season that put Melvin Gordon towards the top of the college football player heap there was speculation he may enter the NFL Draft. However, he had major goals in mind for himself (Heisman Trophy) and for his team (Big Ten Championship).
Gordon returned for his junior year, looking to earn those goals and most importantly his degree from the University of Wisconsin. While he came up short of the Big Ten title and is likely to end up short of the Heisman Trophy on Saturday in New York City, Gordon will graduate in December.
However, he also is going to do what many expected all along â€” skip his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. That became reality as he confirmed the news in an interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Wednesday morning.
Wisconsin RB Melvin Gordon told us that he is skipping his senior season and going pro. @dpshow
— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) December 10, 2014
Gordon will leave the Badgers as one of the all-time best.
His junior season alone would put him at the top of the list at most schools. Heâ€™s leading the country in rushing yards (2,336) and leads the nation in total touchdowns (30), while being named a finalist for not only the Heisman Trophy but also the Doak Walker Award (best running back) and Maxwell Award (most outstanding player in college football).
This season, Gordon pulled off some great feats, including a record breaking 408-yard performance against Nebraska. Unfortunately his single-game record lasted one week, but his November was something to herald.Â He rushed for 1,092 yards in November, more than all but 17 of the other 124 FBS teams.
Overall, Gordon has the fourth best single-season for a running back with 2,336 yards and 29 touchdowns. Should Gordon get in the end zone against Auburn, heâ€™ll join Barry Sanders as the only players in history to rush for over 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns on the season.
For his career, Gordon has 4,664 yards which is good enough for fourth and just 12 yards off third in Wisconsin football history. His 42 career touchdowns have him tied for fifth all-time at Wisconsin and two touchdowns against Auburn would put him in a tie for fourth with Billy Marek. Three touchdowns would tie him with James White for third at 45 career touchdowns.
Gordon leaves Wisconsin behind, but heâ€™ll have one last chance to impress as the Badgers take on the Auburn Tigers in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015.
As for where Gordonâ€™s future lies in the NFL? Well, some early suggestions have him in the 1st round while some sources see him as a second round type pick.
Melvin Gordon still carries RD2 grade for me. Like a lot of his traits, but also question production, next-level ability. Not a safe pick
â€” Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) December 10, 2014
Meanwhile, ESPN.com has the Badgers back ranked as the No. 16-overall player in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Weâ€™re sure to get much more on his status following the NFL combine and all the craziness that will happen between now and the actual draft.