Four Badgers named to All-Big Ten First Team

Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon was rewarded Monday with the first of what is sure to be several postseason honors.

Jesse Johnson/Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has put together one of the most impressive single seasons in the history of college football. It should come as no surprise, then, that Gordon’s year was rewarded Monday with the first of what is sure to be several postseason honors.

Gordon was chosen as the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year and was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection. He was one of 14 Badgers players honored by the conference, as four players garnered first-team all-conference recognition.

Gordon broke the Big Ten single-season rushing record and has 2,260 yards on the season — a mark that ranks fourth in FBS history with two games to play. He also has scored 29 touchdowns, which trails only former Badgers tailback Montee Ball (who scored 39 in 2011) on the Big Ten single-season list. Gordon’s 1,648 rushing yards and 206.0 rushing yards per game during conference play also were Big Ten records.

This marks the third time in the four-year history of the award that a Wisconsin running back has earned the Ameche-Dayne trophy. Ball won the honor in 2011 and 2012. It also represents the 11th time in the last 22 years that a Badgers tailback has earned first-team All-Big Ten honors.

In addition to Gordon, offensive lineman Kyle Costigan and Rob Havensten were first-team All-Big Ten choices by both the coaches and media. Senior linebacker Derek Landisch earned first-team honors from the coaches and second-team laurels from the media. Landisch ranks third on the team in total tackles (70), second in tackles for loss (14.5) and first in sacks (8.0).

Wisconsin has had at least three first-team all-conference selections every season since 2009.

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Four more Badgers earned second-team honors. Junior safety Michael Caputo was a consensus selection, while junior cornerback Darius Hillary earned a second-team selection from the coaches. Caputo leads the Badgers with 93 tackles, while Hillary has become Wisconsin’s top cornerback. Sophomore center Dan Voltz and sophomore linebacker Vince Biegel were both second-team choices by the media.

UW also had six players earn honorable mention status. Freshman kicker Rafael Gaglianone, senior left guard Dallas Lewallen, junior left tackle Tyler Marz, junior linebacker Joe Schobert and senior linebacker Marcus Trotter were chosen by both the coaches and media. Senior tight end Sam Arneson was an honorable mention selection by the media.

All five of Wisconsin’s starting offensive linemen were honored, as were all four of the Badgers’ starting linebackers.

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