FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas tailback Darren McFadden is one of 10 “players to watch” for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award it was announced by The Walter Camp Football Foundation on Monday.
McFadden is having a banner season for the 9-1 Razorbacks pushing him into contention for player of the year accolades and the Heisman Trophy. He has rushed for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns on 197 attempts. He has rushed for 100-yards or more in six games this season including a career-high 219-yard effort against South Carolina. He has also emerged as a threat in the Razorbacks’ “Wildcat” package that features McFadden taking the direct snap as the quarterback. He has completed both of his pass attempts out of that formation for touchdowns.
“I have only been around one other back like him,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt. “He reminds me of Barry Sanders. Darren has great speed and he is extremely tough. He has utilized the great blocking up front to make things happen. His versatility gives us an opportunity to use him in a variety of ways. He very much deserves his place among the very best players in the nation.”
The 2006 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, who is voted on by the 119 Division I-A head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN SportsCenter on Thursday, Dec. 7. The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2007, at the Yale University Commons in New Haven. Last year’s recipient was Reggie Bush (USC), who is currently a rookie on the New Orleans Saints.
Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.
The 10 “Players to Watch” for the 2005 Walter Camp Player of the Year award include:
Colt Brennan, QB, Junior, Hawaii – Has passed for 3,753 yards and 46 touchdowns for 8-2 Warriors.
Michael Hart, RB, Junior, Michigan – Has rushed for 1,373 yards and 11 touchdowns for 11-0 Wolverines.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Junior, Georgia Tech – 52 receptions for 808 yards and 11 touchdowns for 8-2 Ramblin’ Wreck.
Ian Johnson, RB, Soph., Boise State – Has rushed for 1,466 yards and 21 touchdowns for 10-0 Broncos.
James Laurinaitis, Soph., LB, Ohio State – Has 91 tackles, five interceptions and 4 sacks for 11-0 Buckeyes.
Darren McFadden, Soph., RB, Arkansas – Has rushed for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns for 9-1 Razorbacks.
Brady Quinn, QB, Senior, Notre Dame – Has passed for 2,786 yards and 29 touchdowns for 9-1 Fighting Irish.
Ray Rice, RB, Soph., Rutgers – Has rushed for 1,334 yards and 15 touchdowns for 9-0 Scarlet Knights.
Steve Slaton, RB, Soph., West Virginia – Has rushed for 1,363 yards and 12 touchdowns for 8-1 Mountaineers.
Troy Smith, QB, Senior, Ohio State – Has passed for 2,191 yards and 26 touchdowns for 11-0 Buckeyes.