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126567145_crop_650x440_crop_northThe Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden appeared at the Little Rock Touchdown Club, sponsored by Simmons Bank, for the first time as a guest speaker. He has attended the event four times as a player. The club honored a multitude of college and high school players this passed Thursday night. The evening culminated with an enlightening question-and-answer session with moderator David Bazzel, the club president, and McFadden. This was the 12th year, the club honored the top high school players and coaches from each classification in Arkansas and most valuable players from each state college.

The first time McFadden attended the Little Rock Touchdown Club was in 2004 as a senior at Pulaski Oak Grove High School in central Arkansas as the Class 4A Player of the Year. He then appeared from 2005-07 while garnering national attention as a running back at the University of Arkansas. His NFL career started when he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He hit career highs and career lows over the course of 6 seasons with the Oakland Raiders where he had multiple injuries. He signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015. He became the first former Razorback running back to register two 1,000-yard rushing seasons in an NFL career.

During his appearance McFadden covered everything from committing to Arkansas as a high school junior to the rejuvenation of his NFL career in Dallas last season after seven years languishing in Oakland. Last season was rewarding for McFadden since it was just his second full season without injury. He was at ease with honorees and fans as he greeted them and took photos before and after the banquet. David Bazzel, the club president said,  “Michael Irvin was here last year, and he did a good job of meeting everyone, but I love a guy who has reached Darren’s status, and it doesn’t matter who comes up to him, I like to watch [how players interact]. He is cordial and accommodating to every person, and there’s something to be said for that because not every player is like that. That is a great trait.”

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Darren McFadden interview at the Little Rock Touchdown Club: