Some time during Friday night's Arkansas High School Coaches Association All-Star Football Game, former Pulaski Oak Grove standout Darren McFadden hopes to provide a preview of coming attractions at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
He liked to get loose in the secondary, show off his blazing speed and race for a score, something the University of Arkansas and its fans hope he does a lot of the Razorbacks in the next few seasons.
"I don't know about the other guys, but I'm coming to work hard and coming to win," McFadden said. "There's no reason to put the pads on and go out there unless you give it your all and you are playing to win."
McFadden (6-2, 210, 4.37), who rushed for 1,965 yards and 27 touchdowns last season and was regarded as the top player in the state, will play for an East squad that will be guided by Springdale head coach Gus Malzahn in Friday night's 7 p.m. game.
"I don't know too many players on the other team, but I'm looking forward to playing with some guys I've been playing against and I'm friends with like (fellow Razorbacks signees) Elston Forte, Cord Gray and Jamar Love," McFadden said. "I know those guys will be playing to win."
Razorback signees on the West roster include Texarkana tailback Brandon Barnett, Russellville offensive lineman Joey Crossland of Russellville and Camden Fairview wideout/cornerback Rod Coleman along with future Razorback walk ons in wideout Lucas Miller of Greenwood and tight end Mitch Petrus of Carlisle.
Both Coleman and Miller were also selected to play in the All-Star basketball game.
Little Rock Central quarterback Clark Irwin - another UA invited walk on - will play for East, who will have a couple of star-studded managers in Springdale quarterback Mitch Mustain and Red Bulldog offensive lineman Bartley Webb.
McFadden actually arrived in Fayetteville last Sunday and spent the week working out with his new Razorback teammates through Friday before heading back to Little Rock for a couple of days.
"I just wanted to come up and get used to my new teammates and get ready," McFadden said. "I'm in good shape and I can see what a good work ethic these guys I am coming in with to Arkansas have as well as the ones that are already here. I'm really looking forward to playing at Arkansas this next season. I'm just going work hard and try to get myself in the rotation."
One thing McFadden - who was also a hard-hitting safety in high school - hasn't done in awhile is put on the pads.
"It will be good to get the pads back on and pop somebody whether I'm running the ball or chasing somebody with it," McFadden said. "I love contact, but I also know it is better to run away from them sometime as well."
The All-Stars report on Sunday afternoon with a baseball doubleheader beginning the competition Tuesday night at 5 p.m. inside Baum Stadium while the boys (6 p.m.) and girls (8 p.m.) soccer games will be held that same night at Lady Back Soccer Field.
A softball All-Star doubleheader will begin Wednesday night at 5 p.m. with volleyball taking the stage at 7 p.m. that night at Barnhill Arena.
The All-Star basketball games will be held at Bud Walton Arena on Thursday with the girls game starting at 6 p.m. and the boys playing at 8.
The football game will then complete the week's activities, which also include the annual coaches clinic.
"It's going to be fun for all the all-stars," McFadden said, "but the real fun is in playing your best and winning."
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