MADISION, Wis. (WKBT) -

Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which is given to the national player of the year in college football.

Gordon was a semifinalist for the award last season, when he rushed for 1,609 yards and led the nation at 7.8 yards per attempt. He enters his junior season having already been named first-team All-America by both Phil Steele and Athlon.

Gordon is the sixth Badgers player to earn a nod to the Maxwell Award watch list in the last five seasons, joining Montee Ball (2011, 2012), John Clay (2010), Scott Tolzien (2010), James White (2011, 2013) and Russell Wilson (2011). Former Badgers running back Ron Dayne is the only UW player to claim the honor.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 3, while the three finalists will be unveiled Nov. 24. The winner will be announced as part of The Home Depot College Football Awards Show on Dec. 11.

--UWBadgers.com contributed to this report.