Spring Q&A: Melvin Gordon

Excited that Wisconsin's offense has more options and opportunities, sophomore Melvin Gordon is anxious for his opportunity to be more of an impact player for the Badgers offense.

We've learned that players who play behind a great running back usually make a big jump after watching that running back compete. What have you taken away from Montee Ball that you are going to apply to yourself and your game?

Melvin Gordon: Just how hard you have got to work in practice. He texted me and told me that working hard in practice is the key to coming out on game day. Game days are easy if you do it in practice. I took from Montee is that working your butt off and practice and practice like it is a game.

Are you excited that he's gone

Gordon: Yeah, because I've got to step up now. Me and some other guys have some responsibilities now. The team is not banking on Montee to make it happen, (so) it's on us and some other guys to step up. It's going to show what type of leadership and what type of character we've got when the time comes.

In Gary Andersen's first press conference, the running back position was never brought up. That's probably a positive in your eyes because Wisconsin appears pretty set at the position?

Gordon: Yeah, we are a hardworking group. We tried to show that as much as we could last year. Each team one of got in there, we tried to make the most of the opportunities. People say that we have a good backfield. We believe we have a good backfield. We are still going to strive to get better because we can. We have room to improve.

How much better are you than the player we saw against Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship game?

Gordon: I feel like I am a lot better. I have been trying to work a lot harder on my legs, leg strength and things like that so I can run a lot more powerful. That's the big thing with me. Just staying square and little details was key for me (this offseason).

What do you think your role is going to be in this offense or are you still trying to work through and figure that out?

Gordon: We are still going through game planning, but I am hoping to be in the backfield a lot more this year than I was last year. Hopefully I can make plays back there rather than go around the edge like Kenzel (Doe).

Do you feel that your group isn't going to have as much transition as some other groups because your position coach, Thomas Hammock, is returning for another season?

Gordon: We're not going to have as much transition but the way Coach Hammock works us, he's going to work us like a new group, like freshmen coming in. He doesn't take (plays) off. It doesn't matter what type of player you are, even when Montee was there. He coaches us as if we were Montee. Nothing is going to change. We're going to go out there and know what to do.

How do you and James White work well off each other based on what you did last season and what you guys have done through winter conditioning?

Gordon: We are a really close group. I hung out with him and Montee all the time. I still do. We all built up on a bond. We're competitive definitely, but we're great friends. If I need advice, James is there and vice versa.

What's offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig like and how is he trying to make the offense better than what it was a year ago?

Gordon: Score in the redzone; score, score, score; no field goals, you can tell that he knows his stuff. He likes things up-tempo. He seems like a great coach, so I am eager to play for him.

When you watched film from last year, what were the things from an individual and a team standpoint you were disappointed with?

Gordon: Just how we did zone and pass out of running plays. Last year we had no backup plan. We just ran a lot of zone. Now if we have more options with plays based on how things are set up. I like how it is. It's like how Coach Chryst had it.

What are some of the main strides you want to make this spring to allow you to compete in the summer and the fall?

Gordon: I want to finish every play and finish as hard as I can. I want to come out as if it was a game and just run as hard as I can. I want to work on my pad level. Just small little detail things to improve me as a back.

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