McFadden to be inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Monday, January 7, 2019
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden outruns LSU defensive back Chevis Jackson for an 80-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, in Little Rock. McFadden broke Madre Hill's single-season school rushing record on the play.
Photo by Benjamin Krain
Arkansas running back Darren McFadden outruns LSU defensive back Chevis Jackson for an 80-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter of a game Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, in Little Rock. McFadden broke Madre Hill's single-season school rushing record on the play.

FAYETTEVILLE — Darren McFadden, a home-grown Arkansan who might be the best Arkansas Razorback football player of all time, will now take his place among the greats in the College Football Hall of Fame.

McFadden was selected to join the hall in his first year of eligibility as part of a 15-member class in voting announced Monday morning by the National Football Foundation. The class has been named in conjunction with the College Football Playoff national championship game since 2015.

McFadden, 31, is the 16th former Arkansas player or head coach to join the College Football Hall of Fame. McFadden is Arkansas’ all-time rushing leader with 4,590 yards. He was a two-time winner of the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back in 2006 and 2007, and a two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy those seasons.

“Growing up in Arkansas, my dream was to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks,” McFadden said in a statement released by the UA. “To be able to do that and now to be recognized with induction into the College Football Hall of Fame is something I couldn’t have imagined.

“I’m so grateful to my family, Coach Houston Nutt and my many other coaches, Dean Weber, my teammates and everyone in the Razorback Nation for supporting me throughout my collegiate and professional career. When I look at the others who have been inducted to the Hall of Fame, including many from the University of Arkansas, I am truly honored and humbled to be included in such a distinguished group.”

He rushed for 1,647 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2006 and for 1,830 yards and 16 touchdowns the following year. McFadden also had a kickoff return touchdown in 2006 and threw seven touchdown passes from the Wild Hog formation his final two seasons.

A Little Rock native, McFadden burst onto the college football scene as a freshman in 2005 when he rushed for 1,113 yards and 11 touchdowns.

He became the first SEC player since Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1980-82) to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons. McFadden ranks third on the SEC’s career rushing chart behind Walker (5,259) and Georgia’s Nick Chubb (4,769).

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