Ron Dayne. John Clay. P.J. Hill.
All are former Wisconsin running backs who never quite lived up to expectations in the NFL after quality, productive careers in college. The stigma of their failures has led to a reputation for runners at the school, and that has popped up once again in the wake of current Badgers star Melvin Gordon rushing for an FBS single-game record against Nebraska.
Gordon, however, wants no part of the label.
Appearing on the CFB 24/7 Podcast on Wednesday, the Heisman Trophy candidate flatly refuted that he's a system back or that he will share a fate similar to his predecessors upon reaching the next level.
"Every running back is different. I'm not the same runner as Ron Dayne," said Gordon. "I hear people say Wisconsin backs aren't good or are good at the collegiate level and are not at the NFL level. It just upsets me because none of us are the same guy. I don't feel like you can say that."
Gordon, a redshirt junior, leads the country in just about every NCAA rushing category and could even set a number of all-time marks depending on his production during Wisconsin's final few games. Most consider him to be just behind Georgia's Todd Gurley in terms of NFL potential, and he is pretty much a shoo-in to make it to New York for the Heisman ceremony.
Pinning down an NFL comparison may be tough for the speedster, but he does tend to agree with what NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah heard when talking to NFL scouts.