Wisconsin sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor has been the one Badger who has exceeded expectations in an otherwise disappointing season.
On Thursday night, he was rewarded for his efforts on a national stage.
Taylor became the fourth Badger to win the Doak Walker Award, given to the best running back in the nation.
Entering the Badgers’ bowl game against Miami on Dec. 27 in New York City, Taylor is the nation’s leading rusher with 1,989 yards on 280 carries, averaging 7.1 yards per clip.
He has 15 touchdowns with a long run of 88 yards.
Taylor’s biggest outburst of the season came on Nov. 17 at Purdue, when he carved through the Boilermakers for 321 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Taylor rushed for 200 yards or better four different times while eclipsing the 100-yard plateau in all but one game this season.
The sophomore from Salem, N.J., joins former Wisconsin greats Ron Dayne, Montee Ball and Melvin Gordon as winners of the award.
Taylor ran for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman in 2017 and set the bar high for himself.
He cleared it with an even better sophomore campaign, especially considering the inefficiencies of Wisconsin’s passing game this fall.
Taylor was not named a Heisman Trophy finalst.