While watching New Year's Day bowl games on Saturday, University of Arkansas commit Darren McFadden couldn't help but get excited - especially when a running back broke a long run for a score.
"I get excited thinking about how I might could be doing that on this day next year," notes McFadden, the 8th best running back in the country by Scout.com and a top 21 player overall by another service. "That'd be fun."
Indeed Razorback fans would love for McFadden (6-1, 205, 4.38) to have a chance to do so next year because that would mean the Pulaski Oak Grove standout tailback and the UA program likely would both have had great 2005 seasons.
"I'm really looking forward to getting up there and trying to help them out right away," said McFadden, who rolled up nearly 5,000 yards in his prep career and averaged a whopping 9.8 yards per carry.
McFadden rushed for 1,965 yards and 27 touchdowns this season and was named the state's offensive player of the year by one publication behind a young offensive line with no starters returning.
That followed up a junior year where McFadden, who committed to Arkansas last spring and will take his official visit on Jan. 21-23, had rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 scores behind an experienced line.
"I have to give a lot of credit to my offensive line," McFadden said. "I have a lot of natural ability, but they came together and really gave me the lanes to run in. Once I got in the secondary, I could get to the house then."
McFadden hopes to have one more chance to take it to the house in the U.S. Army All American game on Jan. 15th in San Antonio.
He is the first alternate in the backfield and is waiting to hear whether he will get to play or not in a game that will be played at the Alamodome and feature 78 of the nation's top players.
"I really would like to do that, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out," McFadden said. "I would love that challenge to be there and compete with the best."
He has turned down an invitation to plan in an all-star game in Shreveport a couple of days earlier.
"If I am going to miss so much school, I want it to be for the big game," McFadden said.
There has been a lot made of McFadden's recent quote that he prefers playing defense, a side of the ball he was a hard-hitting safety the past few seasons.
"When I said that I think I didn't make myself clear enough," McFadden said. "What I was trying to get across was it's much more fun to hit somebody than be the one getting hit. But I can run over a few people on offense to and maybe I'll get to jack somebody up on a kickoff team or something."
He followed LSU's interest in Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt.
"I can see why they would be interested, but I am a Razorback and would have been a Razorback either way," McFadden said. "I'm really glad he stayed."
Alabama and Tennessee both kept calling McFadden and he briefly considered taking visits to both places.
"But I got to thinking it would be a waste of time," McFadden said. "I want to play against them, not for them. I'm going to Arkansas."
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