The Darren McFadden Award is presented each year to the top Arkansas collegiate football running back.
Darren McFadden was born on August 27, 1987, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended Oak Grove High School in North Little Rock, where he was a three-sport star in football, baseball, and track. He played a variety of positions for his football team, but was primarily used as a running back on offense, and a safety on defense. In track & field, he competed as a sprinter and was timed at 10.8 seconds in the 100-meter dash. During his senior season, McFadden was a Parade magazine high school All-American in 2004, as well as the Arkansas High School player of the year for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Following his senior year, he was awarded the prestigious Landers Award, given every year to the top player in the state of Arkansas. McFadden was ranked the number 23 player in the nation by Rivals.com and the number three athlete, and was given a five star rating. He was a highly recruited prospect, and while he garnered interest from many schools around the Deep South including Tennessee, Alabama, and Auburn, he chose to end the recruiting process early and attend the University of Arkansas.
A 2x Doak Walker Award winner, a 2x Jim Brown Trophy winner, a 2x SEC Offensive Player of the Year, a 2x All-American, and a 3x All SEC running back, Darren was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the first round with the fourth overall pick of the 2008 NFL Draft. He also played three seasons for the Dallas Cowboys.
Darren was voted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2019.