FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Darren McFadden isn't sticking around for another run at the Heisman Trophy.
|Ronald Martinez / Getty Images|
|Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is entering the draft.|
The Arkansas star announced Monday he'll skip his senior season and head to the NFL.
McFadden was the Heisman runner-up in 2006 and 2007, so his decision to turn pro was not a surprising one. He ran for 1,830 yards last season, good for second place on the Southeastern Conference's single-season list. He is also second on the career list with 4,590 yards rushing.
"Entering my name in the NFL draft is the right decision to make," McFadden said. "For me, I just want to play in the NFL. If (my team) was in dead last, it would be the same to me."
During a campus news conference, he turned to Felix Jones, the Razorbacks' other talented tailback, for Jones' announcement that he'll also enter the draft a year early.
"I guess that will be the last handoff from D-Mac," Jones said.
Both players said they could return to school to complete their studies after competing professionally.
McFadden rushed for over 1,000 yards all three seasons at Arkansas. Jones did it the last two. They were part of a backfield that also included senior fullback Peyton Hillis, another NFL prospect.
Now Arkansas will have to rebuild under new coach Bobby Petrino.
McFadden, who is from Little Rock, made an immediate impression in 2005. He ran for 1,113 yards and was named SEC freshman of the year. In 2006, he led Arkansas on a 10-game winning streak and was second in the Heisman race to Ohio State's Troy Smith.
It was during that season that the Razorbacks began using McFadden in the shotgun at quarterback - he could run, throw or hand off to Jones. The formation was devastating initially, and Arkansas finished 10-4.
This season, the Razorbacks lost their first three SEC games but rebounded late. They beat then-No. 1 LSU in the regular-season finale. McFadden ran for 206 yards and three touchdowns and also threw for a touchdown in Arkansas' triple-overtime 50-48 win.
"Thanks to the best fans in the nation," McFadden said. "You have been very supportive to me throughout my career."
McFadden also tied an SEC record with 321 yards rushing in a November win over South Carolina.
Jones said he wouldn't prefer any specific team in the NFL.
"It really doesn't matter to me. I just want to play on Sundays," Jones said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press