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Melvin Gordon named finalist for Maxwell, Doak Walker awards

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In what's assuredly a precursor to a similar announcement for the Heisman Trophy, Melvin Gordon was announced as a finalist for a pair of college football's most prestigious awards.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Gordon won't stop, and neither will his accolades. On Tuesday, the star Wisconsin Badgers running back was named a finalist for both the Maxwell and Doak Walker awards.

The Maxwell Award is given annually to college football's player of the year. Along with Gordon, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott are the finalists. Former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron won the award last year. Wisconsin's Ron Dayne won the award in 1999.

The Doak Walker Award is given annually to college football's top running back. Gordon, Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Indiana's Tevin Coleman are this year's finalists. Former Boston College back Andre Williams won the award last season. Montee Ball won the Doak Walker in 2012, as did Dayne in 1999. Arkansas and Texas Tech have also produced two Doak Walker winners, while Texas leads the pack with three.

Below is the full release from Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin junior Melvin Gordon's status as one of college football's best was backed up Tuesday when the running back was named a finalist for both the Maxwell Award and Doak Walker Award.

In the midst of a record-setting season, Gordon enters UW's rivalry game with Minnesota as the nation's leading rusher (191.7 yards per game) and leading scorer (27 touchdowns). His 2,109 rushing yards have Gordon tied for the Big Ten single-season record, and he is on pace to break the all-time NCAA records for yards-per-carry average in a season and in a career.

He broke the NCAA single-game rushing record with 408 yards against Nebraska two weeks ago and, last Saturday, became the fastest player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 yards in a season by doing so on his 241st carry of the year -- a career-long 88-yard breakaway.

Gordon will vie for the Maxwell Award, presented to the collegiate player of the year, with Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

In a fantastic year for running backs across college football, Gordon also headlines the list of finalists for the Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top running back, and is joined by Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska and Tevin Coleman of Indiana.

The winner of both awards will be announced at The Home Depot College Football Awards show at 6 p.m. (CT) on Dec. 11.

A semifinalist for the Maxwell Award last year, Gordon becomes the Badgers' first finalist since Ron Dayne took home the trophy as a senior in 1999. UW has had a Maxwell semifinalist in each of the last four seasons.

For the first time in the 25-year history of the award, all three Doak Walker Award finalists hail from the same conference. A Big Ten running back has won the award six times, including Badgers Ron Dayne in 1999 and Montee Ball in 2012.

Wisconsin has boasted a finalist for the Doak Walker Award in four of the last five seasons, with John Clay (2010) and Ball (2011 and 2012) joining Gordon. Gordon was a semifinalist for the award last year, and Wisconsin has had a semifinalist in 10 of the last 17 seasons.

The Maxwell Award will be presented to the winner at the Maxwell Football Club's Awards Gala on March 13. The Doak Walker Award presentation is set for Feb. 27 in Dallas.