The mother of junior Arkansas running back Darren McFadden told ESPN.com on Friday night that her son will play his last season of college football this fall before turning pro.
"He told me [Friday], 'Mom, I'll be through in December,'" Mini Muhammed said. "I said, 'What you mean?' He said, 'I'll be through.' That's what he told me."
Asked if that meant her son would be entering the draft and joining the NFL, Muhammed said, "Yeah. He'll be making big money."
McFadden, a true junior, finished second in the 2006 Heisman Trophy voting to Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith. He's a preseason first-team All-American and considered one of the leading candidates for the Heisman again this year. He is widely considered a near-lock first-round NFL draft pick.
In Fayetteville on Wednesday, McFadden told ESPN.com that he did not anticipate making a decision on his future until after the season was over.
"A lot will have to do with how I perform this season, McFadden said.
Arkansas coach Houston Nutt said much the same thing Wednesday when asked about McFadden's pro future.
"We'll make the right decision," Nutt said, noting that the Razorbacks have been through this several times in recent years with underclassmen leaving early for the draft.
Arkansas football spokesman Kevin Trainor said Friday night that the school had no response to Muhammed's statements. Trainor did reiterate that McFadden and Nutt stand by their Wednesday comments that there will be no decision on McFadden's future until after this season.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound McFadden led the Southeastern Conference in rushing in 2006 with 1,647 yards and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground. He also played quarterback out of the shotgun formation regularly in the second half of the season, completing 7-of-9 passes and throwing one touchdown.
Pat Forde is a national columnist for ESPN.com. He can be reached at ESPN4D@aol.com.