Darren McFadden has been running through and around opposing defenses for the past 15 years. Next spring, one of the state's favorite sons will run enthusiastically into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame.
McFadden, a running back for the Dallas Cowboys, will be one of nine new inductees into the ASHOF Class of 2017. The induction banquet will be held in March.
Class of 2017 inductees
NAME SPECIALITY (AFFILIATION)
Charlotte Jones Anderson Football/Executive Vice President (Cowboys)
Charlie Dearman Football (UA-Monticello)
Wally Hall Sports editor/columnist (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
Tim Langford Quarterback (Arkansas State)
Darren McFadden Running back (Oak Grove HS, UA, NFL)
Jim Rasco Track athlete/sports historian (Hendrix)
Sean Rochelle Quarterback (UA-Monticello)
Larry Jackson Linebacker (UA Razorbacks)
Dave Williams HS football coach (Pocahontas)
NOTE Hall, Dearman and Rasco were voted in on the senior ballot; Williams and Jackson were voted in posthumously.
"It is such as honor to be included among so many great athletes that have come from our state," said McFadden, who at 29 is the youngest member of the Hall of Fame class. "For me, it feels just like yesterday that I was running the ball for the University of Arkansas."
McFadden was a three-sport athlete at Pulaski Oak Grove High School and was chosen as a Parade All-American as well as the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Arkansas High School Player of the Year in 2004-2005.
At Arkansas, McFadden was a two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy (2006 and 2007), a two-time first-team All-American, winner of the Walter Camp Award as the nation's top player in 2007 and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2006.
McFadden said his most memorable moment as a Razorback came in his final SEC game.
"There was no better feeling than playing at No. 1 LSU and beating them," McFadden said. "No one gave us a chance to win that game. It's one of the best memories of my playing career."
The Oakland Raiders made McFadden the fourth selection of the 2008 NFL Draft, and McFadden spent seven seasons in Oakland before joining the Cowboys at the start of the 2015 season.
McFadden led the Cowboys in rushing (1,089 yards) and receiving (328 yards) in 2015, but he has been inactive this season after suffering an elbow injury in an off-the-field accident during the summer.
Others members of the 2017 ASHOF class:
CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON (Dallas Cowboys executive vice president) will join father Jerry Jones and brother Stephen Jones as the third family member in the ASHOF. "I am so excited," Anderson said. "It is just an honor to be a part of this and I'm humbled by the honor. ... We are all so proud to be from Arkansas and to be recognized in this manner." Anderson said she was informed that she would be in the 2017 ASHOF class by her father. "He came into my office and had this huge smile on his face," Anderson said. "He couldn't hide his feelings and I know he was extremely proud."
SEAN ROCHELLE (UA-Monticello quarterback), a two-time NAIA Academic All-American and All-AIC quarterback for UAM, said the experience was almost too much for a graduate from Elkins High School. "I don't know how to put this in words," said Rochelle, who starred for the Boll Weevils from 1985 to 1988. "Coming from a small town like Elkins, I mean this is as big as it gets."
TIM LANGFORD (Arkansas State quarterback) was the first recipient of the Terry Gwin Award, presented to the top student-athlete in any sport at Arkansas State. Langford totaled 3,745 yards in total offense with 1,429 rushing and 2,316 passing. He is still ranked as one of the top 10 players in school history in passing percentage.
WALLY HALL (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sports editor, award-winning columnist) became the sports editor of the Arkansas Democrat in 1979 after working for United Press International in New York. He has been inducted into the Arkansas Sportswriters Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Softball Hall of Fame (inaugural class). "This is very humbling," Hall said. "There is no greater honor in Arkansas sports than to be elected to the state's sports hall of fame." Hall is the past president of the Football Writers Association of America and serves on its board and was an officer for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He has served on the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame board, executive committee and is a past president. He is also an Air Force veteran.
CHARLIE DEARMAN (UA-Monticello football player) was a two-time All-AIC selection and was the first UAM athlete to be named to a recognized All-America Team -- Dearman was named to both the NAIA and Associated Press Little All-America teams after his senior season in 1957.
JIM RASCO (Hendrix track athlete/sports historian) started the tradition of introducing past inductees at the annual banquet of the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame, and has done so for 27 years. He is a member of several sports research organizations and has had numerous research articles published.
LARRY JACKSON (Arkansas Razorbacks linebacker) played on the team that shocked Oklahoma (31-6) in the 1978 Orange Bowl. He was named All-Southwest Conference in both 1977 and 1978 and was also selected to the UA's All-Decade Team for the 1970s, and ABC TV named Jackson as its National Defensive Player of the Year. His 309 career tackles rank him 12th on the Razorbacks' all-time list. Jackson (Oct. 5, 1956-June 9, 2010) was killed by a lightning strike while walking on a beach in the Bahamas.
DAVE WILLIAMS (Pocahontas HS football coach) led the Redskins to 9 conference championships and to 16 playoff appearances in a 33-year career (1981-2013) while posting a 206-143-3 record. Williams (Jan. 2, 1943-Nov. 12, 2013) spent 46 years in the coaching profession, starting his career in 1968 in Blytheville. He also coached at Charleston, Searcy and Carlisle.
Sports on 11/20/2016