MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin senior linebacker Chris Borland and sophomore running back Melvin Gordon are both in the midst of outstanding seasons. On Tuesday, they were both recognized for their efforts by major national awards.
Borland is one of 16 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given to the outstanding defensive player of the year. Borland leads a Badgers defense that ranks sixth in the country in both points and total yards allowed. He leads UW and is tied for seventh in the Big Ten with 57 tackles. That includes a conference-best 16-tackle effort at No. 4 Ohio State on Sept. 28.
Borland is also one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the top linebacker in the country, and one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors college football's Defensive IMPACT® Player of the Year.
Gordon is one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award for the collegiate player of the year. One of four running backs on the list, Gordon leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the country in rushing yards per game (144.6). He leads the country in yards per carry at 9.5 yards per tote and is tied for the Big Ten lead with 11 touchdowns.
This is the third straight season Wisconsin has had a Maxwell Award semifinalist as Gordon joins Russell Wilson (2011) and Montee Ball (2012). The only other two schools in the country with a Maxwell semifinalist in each of the last three years are Alabama and Oregon. The last Bednarik Award semifinalist for the Badgers was J.J. Watt in 2010.
UW is one of just five schools in the country with a player on both the Maxwell and Bednarik Award semifinalist lists. The Badgers join Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Oregon.
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