Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor became the fourth player in FBS history to rush for 5,000 yards before his senior season, joining Heisman Trophy winners Herschel Walker of Georgia and Ron Dayne of Wisconsin, as well as Oregon’s LaMichael James, with a 16-yard run over left guard on the first play from scrimmage against Illinois.
Taylor, who rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 24-23 loss to Illinois, needed only 736 carries to reach 5,000, the fewest of the four players. He has 5,128, passing Oregon’s James (5,082) and former Badgers back Dayne (5,091). Georgia’s Walker has 5,596 yards.
James had been the quickest to accomplish the feat, doing so on 755 carries. However, Walker accomplished the feat in just 33 games, running for 5,259 yards on 994 carries. Saturday marked Taylor’s 34th game.
Taylor, who won the 2018 Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back, entered Saturday’s game needing just 4 yards to reach 5,000. He entered the game needing 145 yards to move past Montee Ball (5,140 yards) and into second place in Wisconsin history behind Dayne (7,125).
— Field Level Media