FAYETTEVILLE -- Darren McFadden, a homegrown Arkansan, 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 (NFF) and broadcast on ESPN. The class of inductees has been named in conjunction with the College Football Playoff national championship game since 2015.
The induction ceremony will take place Dec. 10 at the 62nd NFF awards dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown, and the group will be enshrined at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
McFadden, 31, is the 16th former Arkansas player or head coach to be inducted into 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, a two-time runner-up for the Heisman Trophy, and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year during each of those seasons.Gallery: Darren McFadden Through the Years
McFadden, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, was named the national player of the year in 2007 by the Sporting News and the Walter Camp Foundation, a two-time All-American and the 2005 SEC Freshman of the Year.
"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."
The class of inductees is highlighted by McFadden, longtime coach Dennis Erickson, former Texas quarterback Vince Young, former Southern California defensive back Troy Polamalu and former Notre Dame receiver Raghib Ismail. Former Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis joins McFadden as SEC players in the class.
"Darren McFadden is not only a Razorback great, he is a college football legend," Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek said in a UA release. "It is fitting that he will soon be inducted alongside the greatest players and coaches of all time in the College Football Hall of Fame.
"Darren McFadden has always represented his home state proudly and given us all plenty to cheer about. We are excited to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment with him throughout the upcoming year."
McFadden rushed for 1,647 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2006, and for 1,830 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior. McFadden also had a kickoff return touchdown in 2006, and he threw seven touchdown passes from the Wild Hog formation during 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).
McFadden also owns a share of the SEC's single-game rushing record after he ran for 321 yards in a 48-36 victory over South Carolina on Nov. 3, 2007, the night Frank Broyles Field was dedicated at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The Razorbacks claimed one SEC West title during McFadden's tenure, in 2006 when Arkansas won 10 consecutive games. Arkansas lost the SEC Championship Game 38-28 to Florida after leading 21-17 midway through the third quarter in what was the Hogs' most competitive of three appearances in the title game.
McFadden previously has been inducted into the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 as the youngest football honoree at age 29.
"Just looking back, I sometimes think about it, man, you really had some amazing accomplishments at the university," McFadden told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2017. "I can attribute that to having great teammates around me and great coaches around me.
"They all played an important role to help me get to where I am today, by whether it was just somebody keeping me focused or telling me to do the right thing off the field or whether it was teammates pushing me on the field and making me work harder. I feel like everybody I was around and I crossed paths with in college played a role and I appreciate everyone."
Sports on 01/08/2019
Darren McFadden glance
Position Running back
Age 31 (Aug. 27, 1987)
Hometown Little Rock
High School Oak Grove, Maumelle
Bio Two-time All-American, two-time Doak Walker Award winner, two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up, two-time SEC Offensive Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007. … SEC Freshman of the Year in 2005. … Second SEC player behind Georgia’s Herschel Walker to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons. … Tied for SEC single-game rushing record with 321 yards with Vanderbilt’s Frank Monica. … No. 4 pick of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. … Rushed for 4,590 yards in three seasons at Arkansas. … Ran for 41 rushing touchdowns and accounted for 51 touchdowns, including 7 passing touchdowns as a Wild Hog quarterback. … Rushed for 5,421 yards and 28 touchdowns in 10 NFL seasons. Had two 1,000-yard seasons in the NFL: 1,157 yards for the Raiders (2010) and 1,089 yards for the Cowboys (2015). … Tenth former Arkansas player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Print Headline: Former Razorback Darren McFadden voted in among greats