Just as in almost every other thing they've done the last three years at Arkansas, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones were side by side Monday afternoon. The star junior running backs sat at a tailback in the team meeting room where they declared for the NFL draft.
McFadden and Jones announced what most had suspected for quite some time, that they would forgo their senior season with the Arkansas football team. Both indicated they wanted to help their families and believe they will have that opportunity as high draft picks in the April draft.
Jones said the NFL paperwork he requested came bak last week and confirmed what many had speculated, that he would likely be a first-round pick if he declared for the draft. McFadden also submitted similar paperwork, but he said he didn't even look at his results. He said he wanted to go to the NFL regardless of what it said.
Both read statements thanking the same people. They said they appreciated the help from Athletic Director Frank Broyles, former head coach Houston Nutt and their running backs coaches, Danny Nutt and Tim Horton, of the last three seasons.
"I dreamed of playing for the Razorbacks and I lived that dream," McFadden said. "Now, I want to live another dream, playing in the NFL."
Jones said, "I grew up never even dreaming of playing in Division I football. I just dreamed of playing in high school. But now I want to play on Sundays. That's my dream now."
Jones added, "Ya'll know I am from Tulsa, Okla., but I want to tell you that I am a Razorback. I will always be a Razorback in my heart."
McFadden followed that by saying, "We bleed Razorback blood, both of us."
Jones said he didn't think of going early to the NFL until sometime this season. He said that wasn't a thought as a sophomore, only this year.
Asked if an injury and surgery this August to Marcus Monk after he returned for his senior campaign factored into his decision, Jones admitted risk of injury was a factor.
"You know it's a collision sport and you risk injury every time you go out there," he said. "So yes, you think about that. This was about doing something to help my family."
Jones said he is confident the Arkansas football program is on solid footing with new coach Bobby Petrino and a new staff. However, he said the new coach was not a factor in his decision to leave early.
"They are going to do well and I support Coach Petrino," Jones said. "I will be cheering for him and the Razorbacks. But, no, I didn't think (about the new staff). It wasn't part of the decision."
McFadden, Jones Decide Future
Hawgs Daily Top Stories
TCU vs Iowa State primerAfter falling in double-overtime to Arkansas, TCU looks to get back to their winning ways against Iowa State.
Horned Frog Insider09/15/2016
The Ultimate Midlands TeamThere is a lot of talent in the Midlands region, with a vast majority of the highest rated recruits playing high school football in the Lone Star State. Which prospects made the…
These rival helmet color swaps are revoltingSwapping rival teams' helmet colors? It shouldn't have been done, but someone did it anyway.
Post-July 2017 Top 100 Player RankingsWith the July evaluation periods, Nike Skills Academy, adidas Nations and Under Armour's Elite 24 over, Scout's basketball recruiting team has updated the 2017 top 100. DeAndre…