McFadden's Sister Plans To Look After Brother

NEW YORK — Gaylon Muhammad wasn't picky about which team would take her younger brother with one of the first picks in the NFL Draft.

It didn't matter to her, even though it had already been decided that she'd move to wherever former Arkansas running back Darren McFadden went.

After all, that's what big sisters do.

"He's the one that has to play," Muhammad, 22, said. "It didn't matter to me, regardless if (the new city) was going to be super cold. I was going to bundle up and put forth the effort."

But after seeing how the first round played out Saturday afternoon, Muhammad won't have to worry about dealing with harsh winters.

The Oakland Raiders got the player they had been coveting for the past few months when they selected McFadden with the fourth pick.

At one time, there was talk the New York Jets might trade up to draft McFadden or hope that he falls to them with the No. 6 pick. But he's instead heading to the Bay Area, where the winters aren't as bad.

"If I would have been in New York, I would have been happy to be here," McFadden said, sitting in Radio City Music Hall on Saturday evening. "But Oakland decided to go ahead and grab me, and I'm very happy to be there."

Apparently, it's a package deal.

McFadden had his character questioned in the weeks leading up the draft, and some critics expressed concern about the company that the running back keeps.

But Muhammad, who's the ninth of Mini Muhammad's 12 children, will be heading out to Oakland to help look after her younger brother.

"She's going to help me out around the house" said McFadden, who's two years younger than his sister. "Being that far away from home, she's going to help me out in whatever way she can."

McFadden is expected to leave soon for Oakland, and Muhammad will join him on the West Coast when she finishes her degree and her outdoor track and field season.

Muhammad graduates from the University of Memphis in May, and she competes in the 100-meter dash and the triple jump for the Tigers' track team.

"It was sort of a mutual idea (for me to move with him). It was just a thought put out in the air, to go ahead and do that because I'll be graduating," Muhammad said. "So I'll have an opportunity to be around him. We both have great opportunities to work together."

McFadden is loyal to his family and sometimes that has gotten him into trouble. He was with his brothers during the two altercations at Little Rock bars that raised questions about his character.

But as an athlete herself, Muhammad said she understands what her younger brother has gone through to get this point.

"It's a hard struggle, being an athlete, and when he was in school being an athlete and being a student at the same time," Muhammad said. "So now it's a job; it's like an 8-to-5 or 9-to-5."

McFadden can expect to sign a contract with the Raiders that will guarantee him at least $18.56 million, which is what Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Gaines Adams received as the fourth pick in last year's draft.

"I'm going to take care of my family, buy my mom a house, buy my dad a house," McFadden said. "Just take care of them."

And his sister plans to take care of him in return.

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