Changing the Evaluation

Kenosha Bradford's Melvin Gordon never put too much stock into scouting reports. He knew he was a good running back and knew he could make an impact at the position. Wisconsin was hesitant, but eventually changed Gordon's offer from defensive back to tailback. But with Iowa recruiting him as a running back from the start, is it too little, too late for UW?

MADISON - One of the tallest running backs at the Nike Combine in Columbus, Ohio, last weekend, Kenosha Bradford running back Melvin Gordon knew that he had a great opportunity in front of him.

"I was trying to go out and show I am one of the best running backs in the Midwest," he said.

When the results came back, Gordon's took a big step into backing up his words. At 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, Gordon showed off his 4.5 40-yard dash speed by getting rave reviews on his explosion from the line of scrimmage, streaking past the front seven on passing routes and possessing good vision during drills, cementing himself as one of the top athletes in the state of Wisconsin.

"I think I did decent, but I didn't get enough reps to really show the guys out there what I had," Gordon told Badger Nation. "When I got up against a linebacker, I feel I did pretty good. I still need to work on my fakes a little bit and run my routes a little bit more smoothly."

The Nike Camp was a good starting point for Gordon, who is planning on a heavy work load this summer on the recruiting trail. With multiple camp invitations, Gordon will hit the road in hopes of trimming down his offer list, a list that includes scholarship offers from Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisville, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Washington State and Wisconsin.

"I am very happy with what I've got," said Gordon, who finished his junior season with 1,060 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, earning honorable mention All-State honors. "When I had two offers, I was happy. It's just a great feeling with how it happened. I got every offer I could want."

While it's still early in the process, Gordon says the Hawkeyes are his slight favorite heading into the summer.

"Iowa is pretty high on my list," Gordon said. "The first day that I met the running back coach, I got a great feeling for him. He's a great guy and I feel comfortable just sitting and talking with him. The whole staff is great. When I went down there, I thought the facilities were nice and just liked everything about it."

With Iowa out in front, the Badgers changed their recruitment on Gordon. Originally offering him as a defensive back, Wisconsin changed course and targeted Gordon as a running back. Since then, Gordon has made a couple stops at Madison for spring practices and to get a different look.

"At first, they were kind of looking at me as a running back, but they figured I could play any position, wide receiver or defensive back," Gordon recalled. "Now, they've been talking about me strictly as a running back. They've been recruiting me pretty hard. I get a call from all the coaches – Coach Bostad, Coach Bielema, Coach Settle. One time I called and I talked to almost everybody."

The thought of a Wisconsin-born recruit that the Badgers targeted leaving the state is a rare occurrence for Bielema's staff, as A.J. Klein (Iowa State) and Mike Hardy (Iowa) were the only two recent players that turned down a UW scholarship to go elsewhere.

In the case of Gordon, he claims that he had no problem with the UW coaching staff recruiting him on the defensive side of the ball first. At the moment, it's all about where Gordon simply feels more comfortable.

"I just have a better feel for Iowa right now than anyone else," Gordon said.

Gordon is still aiming on making his decision before his senior season so he can focus on taking Bradford deep into the state tournament, but the intermediate goal is to narrow down is still growing offer list.

"I am trying to visit as many schools as I can on unofficials," Gordon said. "It's not been easy, but it's been fun."

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