American Football Wiki
Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden RaidersvsColts
No. 20     -
Running back
Personal information
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: Arkansas
NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Debuted in 2008 for the Oakland Raiders
Career history

Roster status: Inactive
Career highlights and awards

  • Freshman SEC Offensive P.O.Y. (2005)
  • 2x SEC Offensive Player of the Year (2006-2007)
  • 2x All-American (2006-2007)
  • 2x Doak Walker Award (2006-2007)
  • 2x Heisman Trophy runner-up (2006-2007)
  • Walter Camp Award (2007)
  • Maxwell Award finalist (2007)
Career NFL statistics
Stats at

Darren McFadden (born on August 27, 1987 in North Little Rock, Arkansas) is a former running back. He played college football for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. He was drafted by the Raiders fourth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys.

McFadden, often referred to as D-Mac or Run-D.M.C., was a two-time All-American[1][2] tailback for the University of Arkansas. McFadden became the first sophomore to win the Doak Walker Award in 2006[3], and joined Ricky Williams as only the second two-time winner after taking home the award again in 2007.[4] McFadden also won the 2007 Walter Camp Award[5] as the nation's best player and was also the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy two years in a row in 2006 and 2007.

Early years[]

McFadden attended Grove High School in North Little Rock. McFadden played a variety of positions at Oak Grove, but usually lined up as a running back on offense, and a safety on defense. During his senior season, he was a Parade Magazine All-American in 2004, as well as being named the Arkansas High School player of the year by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Following his senior season at Oak Grove, McFadden was awarded the prestigious Landers Award[6], given every year to the top player in the state of Arkansas. During his time at Oak Grove, McFadden would occasionally line up at the quarterback position, a skill which he used at Arkansas in the "Wildcat" formation. McFadden was a highly recruited prospect, and garnered interest from many schools around the nation. Wanting to always be a Razorback, McFadden eventually chose to attend the University of Arkansas.

McFadden was named 1st Team All-SEC all three years he was at Arkansas and was also a consensus 1st team All-American after his sophomore and junior seasons, also being named a freshman All-American in his freshman year. Darren was also named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by the Coaches and AP in 2006, and again by the Coaches in 2007[7], as well as being named The Sporting News magazine National Player of the Year in 2007[8].

2005 season[]

In 2005, his true freshman season, McFadden rushed for 1,113 yards and 11 touchdowns on 176 attempts, earning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year honors, as well as Freshman All-American nods. McFadden was an integral part of an Arkansas offense, that, although going 4-7, lost to top ranked teams such as Georgia and LSU only in the closing seconds of those games. Although being a backup for the first 2 games of the season, and even gathering interest from defensive coordinator Reggie Herring to become a safety, a position he also played in high school, McFadden stuck with his position at running back.

Throughout the season, McFadden transformed into the breakout star he would soon become, rushing for long touchdowns in several games. McFadden ended the season with the most yards a freshman running back had ever gained in an Arkansas uniform, and became only the seventh Southeastern Conference player to rush over 1,000 yards as a freshman, joining the likes of Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker. McFadden continued through spring practice early the next year as the number one running back on the Razorback depth chart, a spot he never relinquished while on campus.

2006 season[]

In 2006, despite a slow start due to a dislocated toe from an off the field incident at a night club in Little Rock[9], McFadden rushed for a school-record 1,647 yards (which was also good enough for fifth best all-time in the SEC for single season yards), scored 14 touchdowns, and threw for 3 more touchdowns on just 9 passing attempts, becoming a first-team All-American. McFadden also attained a new career high for yards in a single game in his 219 yard performance in a 26-20 win at the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.[10]Thanks to his efforts, Arkansas streaked to 10 wins, the SEC Western Division Championship, but lost to Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on January 1, 2007 and finished with a record of (10-4).

On December 6, 2006, McFadden was named 1 of 3 finalists for the Heisman Trophy, along with Troy Smith (Ohio State University) and Brady Quinn (University of Notre Dame.) In the final 2006 Heisman vote, McFadden placed second behind Smith and several points in front of Quinn. [11] On December 7, 2006, McFadden became the first sophomore to win the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top running back. [12] He was also a consensus All-America choice, making the vast majority of teams selected.

McFadden surpassed Madre Hill as the record holder for most rushing yards in a season at the University of Arkansas in 2006. He is also the centerpiece of the "Wildhog," an offensive formation wherein he usually lines up at quarterback. Since McFadden often played quarterback in high school, he has been a threat to throw the ball, to run the ball, or hand off to another player, (usually fellow running back Felix Jones or fullback Peyton Hillis), thus making the formation a triple threat. The "Wildhog" formation, as practiced at Arkansas, is also known nationally by some as the "501," McFadden's hometown telephone area code which is tattooed on the inside of both of his biceps, and was officially renamed as the "WildHog" for the 2007 season.

2007 season[]

File:McFaddenDontWant None.jpg

Arkansas vs Tennessee.

Before the 2007 season, McFadden was believed to be one of the top NFL draft picks after the 2007 season if he declared for the 2008 NFL Draft. In Sports Illustrated's website, a photo gallery chronicling the best possible candidates in the 2008 draft was tipped as the number 1 pick. McFadden was also predicted to be a front-runner for many awards, including the Doak Walker, the Maxwell, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, and the Heisman.

McFadden began the 2007 season with five consecutive games in which he gained at least 120 yards. Highlighting these were a 195 yard effort against Alabama, a 151 yard game against Troy, and a 173 yard effort against Kentucky. After this stretch of games, McFadden looked to be a lock for the Heisman trophy, at the top of generally every watch list. But in the next three weeks, McFadden tallied only 43, 110, and 61 yards against Auburn,Ole Miss, and Florida International, respectively. After these three games, McFadden had gone from being at the top of the lists, to near the bottom, or in some cases, off.

On November 3, 2007, McFadden tied the Southeastern Conference single-game rushing record (Frank Mordica, Vanderbilt, 1978 vs. Air Force) with 321 yards rushing against the South Carolina.[13]. An 80 yard run highlighted McFadden's day, as well as preserved the Arkansas win.

The next two weeks, McFadden rushed for 117 yards in a loss to Tennessee and 88 yards in a win against Mississippi State.

On November 23, 2007, McFadden led Arkansas to a 50-48 triple overtime victory over the #1 ranked LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, winning the Battle for the Golden Boot for Arkansas. McFadden rushed 32 times for 206 yards and 3 TD's, and completed 3 of 6 pass attempts for 34 yards, also throwing a touchdown to Peyton Hillis. The Wildhog formation was key for McFadden and the Hogs, as the majority of McFadden's yards came when he received the snap.[14]

By any measure, McFadden's 2007 season was a success: McFadden was selected as the Sporting News magazine National Player of the Year, was a consensus 1st Team All-American for the second straight season, won the Doak Walker Award for the second year in a row (only the second person to ever win it twice, Ricky Williams of Texas), was selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Year by SEC coaches, and he was also awarded the Walter Camp Award (given to the nation's best overall player).

McFadden is second all-time in career rushing yards in the SEC behind only Herschel Walker of Georgia (5,259), and is also currently holds seventh place for the SEC career record touchdowns with 40. McFadden has 1,829 yards rushing on 325 carries and 16 TD's, plus he has thrown for 4 TD's, and has 1 TD reception. He leads the SEC and is third in the nation in rushing yards.

On December 6, 2007, McFadden was announced as the winner of the Walter Camp Award and as the winner of the Doak Walker Award. [15] [16] He became only the second person (along with Ricky Williams) in history to win the Doak Walker Award twice. McFadden finished as the runner-up for the 2007 Heisman Trophy for the second year in a row. He was runner-up to Tim Tebow of the Florida Gators[17], making him the first person since 1949 to finish second in Heisman voting in consecutive years. Additionally, he was, for the second consecutive season, a consensus All-America selection.

He is the most decorated player in school history, and holds virtually all of the university's rushing records, and is also in a number of the SEC's all-time top 10 rushing spots. After Arkansas lost 38-7 to Missouri (and fellow 2007 Heisman finalist QB Chase Daniel) in the January 1, 2008 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, McFadden decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2008 NFL Draft on January 14, 2007. [18] Many early projections had him being taken in the first five picks, with some placing him as high as #1.

In late December 2007, sports agent (and former Arkansas track and field athlete) [ike Conley, Sr. was accused by KARK-TV in Little Rock, Arkansas of purchasing a Cadillac Escalade for McFadden, which would have jeopardized McFadden's status as an amateur athlete for the 2008 Cotton Bowl and a possible senior season. KARK later retracted the report and apologized to Conley. [19]

Career statistics[]

Rushing Receiving Passing Kickoff Returns
Year G Att Yrds Avg TD Lg Rec Yrds Avg TD Lg Att Cmp Yrds Avg TD Lg No. Yrds Avg TD Lng
2005 11 176 1113 6.3 11 70 14 52 3.7 0 13 2 1 13 6.5 0 13 12 348 29 0 81
2006 14 284 1647 5.8 14 80 11 149 13.5 1 70 9 7 69 7.7 3 28 10 262 26.2 1 92
2007 13 325 1830 5.6 16 80 21 164 7.8 1 57 11 6 123 11.2 4 42 16 316 19.8 0 33
Totals 38 785 4590 5.8 41 80 46 365 7.9 2 70 22 14 205 9.3 7 42 38 926 24.4 1 92

Professional career[]


At the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on February 24, 2008, McFadden ran an official 4.33 40-yard dash, which was second among all running backs at the combine.[20]

McFadden also reportedly scored a 17 on the Wonderlic exam. [21]

McFadden's selection number in the draft was subject to varying speculation. He has been criticized for possible character concerns that stem from two nightclub altercations and the hiring of a lawyer to handle his paternity problems. McFadden is expecting a potential child later this year, as one of two paternity tests came back negative, with the other test results due sometime in mid-April. [22]

Oakland Raiders[]

McFadden was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. The Raiders signed McFadden to a six-year, $60 million contract which includes $26 million in guarantees. Negotiation was completed quickly by the team in fear of a contract holdout as occurred with quarterback JaMarcus Russell in 2007. [23]


On November 28, 2017, only two days after his release, McFadden announced his retirement from football after 10 seasons in the NFL.



McFadden on the cover of the Xbox 360's version of NCAA Football 09

On March 6, 2008, Electronic Arts announced that McFadden would be cover athlete for the Xbox 360's version of NCAA Football 09. [24]


  1. 2006 AP All-American Team,Associated Press Accessed January 13, 2008
  2. Tebow, McFadden, Smith on AP All-American first team Associated Press, accessed January 13th, 2008
  3. Doak Walker Award RecipientsSouthern Methodist University, accessed January 13, 2008
  4. Darren McFadden Named 2007 Doak Walker Award Recipient Southern Methodist University, accessed January 13th, 2008
  5. McFadden picked as Walter Camp Player of the Year ESPN, accessed January 13th, 2008
  6. Landers Award 2007 KATV, accessed January 14th, 2008
  7. SEC Football Individual Awards Announced Southeastern Conference, accessed January 14th, 2008
  8. Sporting News Names Darren McFadden Player of the Year University of Arkansas, accessed January 14th, 2008
  9. Police:Darren McFadden injured in nightclub brawl KFSM, accessed January 14th, 2008
  10. McFadden early, Monk late too much for Gamecocks in loss to Hogs ESPN, retrieved January 26, 2008
  11. Rise of Troy: Buckeyes QB wins Heisman Trophy. ESPN. Associated Press (2006-12-12). Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  12. College Football Awards. ESPN. Retrieved on 2007-12-10.
  13. NCAA Football - South Carolina Gamecocks/Arkansas Razorbacks Recap. Retrieved on 2007-11-03.
  14. McFadden, Arkansas stun No.1 LSU in triple OT, ESPN, accessed January 13th, 2008
  15. Arkansas' McFadden named Walter Camp Player of the Year. CBS Sports (2007-12-06). Retrieved on 2007-12-06.
  16. Darren McFadden Wins Second-Straight Doak Walker Award. Hogwired (2007-12-06). Retrieved on 2007-12-06.
  17. Florida QB Tebow is first underclassman to win Heisman ESPN, accessed January 13th, 2008
  18. Pasquarelli, Len (2008-01-14). Arkansas' McFadden declares for NFL draft. ESPN. Retrieved on 2008-01-14.
  19. Station retracts report about McFadden,, accessed December 28, 2007
  20. Murphy, Tom. "Showing his stuff", Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 2008-02-25. Retrieved on 2008-02-25. 
  21. After home life from hell, Darren McFadden racing to put past behind him
  22. After home life from hell, Darren McFadden racing to put past behind him
  23. No first-round holdout this year as Raiders sign McFadden
  24. Template:Cite press release

External links[]