'I just surround myself with family members' Print
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Saturday, 26 April 2008 12:53
NFL Headline News

 The third in a series of stories about Darren McFadden's family as the Arkansas star prepared for the NFL draft.
By RICK FREEMAN
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -Ella McFadden woke up a little after six in the morning, too nervous to sleep any longer. The big day was finally here.
Of course, the NFL draft wasn't going to start for another nine hours or so, Manhattan was sleeping outside her window, and nothing could make that hour hand spin any faster.
What's an anxious stepmom to do?
``I've been up drinking coffee, so I'm pretty wired right now,'' she said shortly after Darren McFadden was taken fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders.
Saturday was quite a buzz for most of McFadden's relatives. The former Arkansas star running back had plenty members of his close-knit family in New York for the draft.
Ella McFadden, of course, was there, just as she was back in December when Darren was a Heisman Trophy finalist. His sister, Gaylon Muhammad was there, too. She wouldn't miss it.
Her future hinged on the pick almost as much as Darren's did. She plans to move in with him and look out for him like the big sister she is. She'll be the family's representative in Darren's life, a little bit of home always with him way out in California.
Though when the relatives come for visits, they're going to have to get their own plane tickets.
``I will not be a travel agent,'' Gaylon said, laughing.
She's about to graduate from Memphis next weekend, taking her degree in business with her to Oakland, where she'll find a job in her field while her brother works in his.
After four years apart when they went to separate colleges, she's looking forward to being back with him on a daily basis.
Growing up, the pair was tighter than tight. The McFaddens used to race each other - and their father, Gralon McFadden - up and down Schiller Street in Little Rock. It might be where Darren developed the breakaway speed that the Raiders couldn't pass up, despite having a glut of running backs already.
Then again, Darren couldn't break away from Gaylon until about four years ago.
``Once his legs grew a little longer,'' says Gaylon, who runs track for Memphis. ``Once those feet got bigger.''
 

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