MADISON - Wisconsin junior RB Melvin Gordon was named Monday to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is presented annually to the national player of the year in college football.
A semifinalist for the award last season when he rushed for 1,609 yards and led the nation at 7.8 yards per attempt, Gordon joins Oregon State QB Sean Mannion, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, Baylor QB Bryce Petty and Florida State QB Jameis Winston as returning semifinalists for the award.
Gordon enters his junior season having already been tabbed first-team All-America by both Phil Steele and Athlon.
An explosive runner, Gordon is the FBS' active career leader in rushing average at 8.08 yards per carry for his career and led the nation in runs of 60-plus (4) and 70-plus (3) yards last season.
In 2013, Gordon combined with then-senior RB James White to break the FBS record for rushing yards by teammates with 3,053 for the season.
Gordon finished the season ranked No. 11 nationally at 123.8 rushing yards per game and scored 12 rushing touchdowns.
Gordon is the sixth Badgers player to earn a nod to the Maxwell Award watch list in the last five seasons, joining Montee Ball (2011, 2012), John Clay (2010), Scott Tolzien (2010), James White (2011, 2013) and Russell Wilson (2011).
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 3, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 24. The winner will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.