FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden met with some media members on Saturday prior to the game against Auburn to comment on his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.
McFadden holds several Arkansas rushing records despite only playing for three years. During his career from 2005-07 the former great was twice voted runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He won countless other national awards during his time at Arkansas. He was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the No. 4-overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.
On Saturday he talked about his selection to the College Football Hall of Fame.
“When I got the call it was just unbelievable to me,” McFadden said. “There’s been so many great guys that have come through NCAA Football. To be considered among one of those greats is definitely a great feeling.”
McFadden was asked his favorite memories from his time with the Hogs with one home game and another on the road?
“Here, South Carolina 321 (yards rushing),” McFadden said. “On the road LSU three-overtimes. Beat the No. 1 in the country. I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. I couldn’t do any of that by myself. I played with great guys like Peyton Hillis, Felix Jones and those great guys I played with. And having a great coach like Houston Nutt. I really enjoyed those times.”
The 321 yards rushing against South Carolina is still a school record for a single game. The win over LSU came in final regular season game with the Hogs. Arkansas beat LSU 50-48 in three overtimes in Baton Rouge. It turned out to be Nutt’s final game at Arkansas and LSU went on to win the national championship. McFadden and the Hogs lost to Missouri with Reggie Herring serving as interim coach.
McFadden was part of the Hog Walk on Saturday with Chad Morris and the Razorbacks. What are his thoughts about Morris and the team?
“Me being an Arkansas kid I love being around the program regardless of who the coach is,” McFadden said. “But Coach Morris is a special guy. I definitely enjoy talking to him. He’s one of those guys that definitely I think can get this program turned around. Just needs a little time. Looking forward to the future.”
Players are still wearing No. 5 at Arkansas. McFadden talked about that and if at some point in future he would like to see the number retired?
“I would love for it to be retired,” McFadden said. “Rakeem Boyd is a great guy. I like to see him in it. They have a defensive lineman (Dorian Gerald) wearing No. 5. It’s just one of deals I hope it just keeps the legend alive.”
McFadden hopes recruits understand Arkansas is rebuilding and the future should be brighter. He had a message for the ones visiting and thinking of being a Razorback.
“I stopped by Bud Walton last night they had a few recruits in there,” McFadden said. “I just told them I’m not gonna sugarcoat anything we’re having a down season. It has been a bad few years for us. But like I told them, we need guys like that to come in here and help us get back to where we need to be. That’s my message to them. I’m not gonna be a coach and try to say come here this and that. Just gonna be honest with you we would love to have those guys here.”
McFadden was also asked how much he reflects back on his college career?
“I think once I got the call that I was being inducted into the College Hall of Fame, that’s something that made me really reflect on a lot of my games in college and the career that I had,” McFadden said. “It’s just one of those things, like I said, it’s just an unbelievable deal. Coming here as a freshman, I didn’t expect to do much. I just wanted to come here and play football and do that. Then I started setting records and breaking records. It was one of those deals where I was just pretty much speechless about it. I’m definitely looking forward to it and I’m honored to be inducted into the College Hall of Fame.”
This season, Arkansas has brought back the jerseys that were worn by Arkansas during McFadden’s time. He certainly approved of that.
“I love it,” McFadden said. “I love it, man. It’s tradition, man. It’s one of those deals. They tried to move away from it a little bit. They turned the Hog facing forward. I like the old-school tradition, with the Hog running sideways. For them to be back in those uniforms, I love it. It’s a great deal and it brings up a lot of memories for me.”
On Sunday, Nolan Richardson will have the court at Bud Walton named after him. McFadden is pleased with that.
“I was a football fan first,” McFadden said. “But my dad and my step-mom always watched the Arkansas basketball games. I was a big fan of Nolan Richardson seeing him. It definitely gonna be great to see them put his name on the court.”
Arkansas is set to play Auburn today.