Indispensable Badger #17

Counting down the days to Wisconsin opens training camp, Badger Nation's new summer feature will rank the 50 most indispensable players of the 2013 Wisconsin football team. Today we reveal No.17.

Melvin Gordon

Position: Running Back

Experience: Redshirt Sophomore

2012 Stats: Played in 14 games with four starts … Rushed for 621 yards on 62 carries (10.0 average) and three touchdowns … Ran for a career-high 216 yards on just nine carries and scored a touchdown in the Big Ten Championship game against Nebraska on Dec. 1 … Had first career 100-yard game (112 yards) against UTEP.

Strengths: Gordon has great break-out speed that, when combined with his power, is scary. He can also catch out of the backfield better than most, giving the Badgers' sagging passing game another weapon.

Weaknesses: The only real flaw in Gordon's game is the fact that he is not the best blocker out of the backfield. Although he can handle a smaller linebacker, he has not been consistent when it comes to bigger lineman.

Overall: Gordon is scary good and that became apparent in the Big Ten Championship game last season. He mirrors former tailback Montee Ball in the fact that he can be hit plenty of times before being tackled. Gordon will get plenty of reps this season behind James White.

Look for Gordon to really show up this season and step in as a legitimate threat game in and game out on all three downs. He will most likely, along with James White, end with a 1,000 yard rushing season.

Up Next: Our. No.16 player is seeing a change in the position he has made his own the last two years, but is confident he'll be just as effective for Wisconsin.

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