For the fourth time since 1999 Wisconsin has the best running back in college football.
It was announced Thursday night that sophomore Jonathan Taylor had won the Doak Walker Award, which is given to the top running back in the country.
“I’m really just honored to be here,” Taylor told UWBadgers.com. “(To) be a recipient of the award is a testimony to our coaches, (my) teammates and all the support from my family and friends.”
Taylor joins Ron Dayne (1999), Montee Ball (2012) and Melvin Gordon (2014) as Wisconsin backs to take home the award. It gives the Badgers four different winners, the most of any school in the country.
“I take it very seriously because the things that they’ve done, they put in so much hard work and time into trying to be the best player they [could] be,” Taylor said of maintaining the standard set by previous great Wisconsin backs. “I feel like I can do the same thing. That was one of my goals, just making sure I was being the best player I could be and honor those guys that ran before me…”
With the New Era Pinstripe Bowl still to be played, Taylor has run for a nation-leading 1,989 yards and 15 touchdowns this season, and he’s averaging 7.1 yards every time he gets a carry. Taylor’s career total of 3,966 yards is the most by any FBS player in their first two years of college football and it leaves him sixth all-time in career rushing yards at Wisconsin.
Taylor beat out Memphis’ Darrell Henderson and Clemson’s Travis Etienne for the award.