Wisconsin Badger fans had plenty of reason to “jump around” when Melvin Gordon was on the field as the team’s star running back. In 2014, he was only 41 yards shy of breaking Barry Sanders’ all-time single-season rushing record. That season, he finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, losing to Marcus Mariota. The Badger faithful know that they were blessed to have a talent like Melvin Gordon grace Camp Randall stadium for four years.
Actually, the roots of greatness for Gordon were sown in his hometown of Kenosha. His mother, Carmen, never missed a single game and would frequently drive Gordon to football camps as far away as Alabama. His father and grandfather instilled a solid work ethic and workout regimen with him, which carried on at UW as he would frequently be seen running steps at the stadium wearing a weighted vest. His family’s support and investment paid off with numerous accolades in high school and a scholarship to the Big Ten school of his dreams.
A member of two Big Ten championship teams, Gordon had a breakout year in 2014. A First Team All-Big 10 selection and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, as well as a unanimous All American, Gordon took home the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s best running back. He was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the 15th overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft.
Although he was named the starting running back for the Bolts his rookie season, he sustained a season-ending knee injury during the campaign. Vowing to come back even harder, his sophomore outing resulted in his first Pro Bowl and was named the Chargers Offensive Player of the Year thanks to 1,416 yards of combined offense and 12 touchdowns. Another Pro Bowl year followed in 2018. Currently, Gordon sits in the Top 10 in the Chargers record books with career rushing yards and career rushing touchdowns.
While in San Diego, Melvin Gordon was active in outreach efforts to Navy service members and has continued his community outreach since the team’s move to Los Angeles. A good friend of Adrian Peterson, the two often conduct offseason workouts together.
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