LITTLE ROCK (AP) -Pat Jones has been around a few Heisman Trophy winners in his time, so it's only natural to wonder what he thinks of Darren McFadden.
``When you just see him out there running around,'' Jones said of the Arkansas running back, ``that's the same impact that Barry Sanders has on you, that Ricky Williams has on you, that Charles Woodson had on you.''
Jones spoke Tuesday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club. He was the coach at Oklahoma State while Sanders was there, and he came across Williams and Woodson while an assistant for the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders. All three of those players were Heisman winners, and McFadden - last year's Heisman runner-up - is trying to follow in their footsteps.
``When you see McFadden live - I've got very clear mental pictures of all these guys,'' Jones said. ``He falls right into the same family of them. He's a little taller, he's a little bit leaner cut, but he's flexible, he can drop his pads. His hand-eye coordination is superb.''
Jones talked about his coaching career in both college and the pros. He drew a chuckle when he mentioned Williams, the star running back whose NFL career has been stalled by multiple positive tests for marijuana. Jones expressed regret at Williams' troubles.
``Ricky is a superb athlete - he just liked to smoke dope too much,'' Jones said. ``He's a good kid. He's not a thug, he's not a criminal. You hate to see that.''
Jones mocked the recruiting ratings that are given to high school players nowadays with a story about Sanders.
``When you see all these stars associated on the names of youngsters whenever you recruit - 'Oh my goodness, he's a 4-star,''' Jones said. ``Barry Sanders was from Wichita, Kansas. He visited three schools. He visited Tulsa, Iowa State and Oklahoma State. ... He had no stars out by his name when he finished high school.''
Jones also talked a bit about Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, the subject of controversy this offseason. Jones admitted he is partial to Nutt, who was on his staff at Oklahoma State for several seasons.
``If you're a big Houston Nutt hater, you probably ought to keep it to yourself,'' he said.
Nutt has had his phone records requested by fans under the state Freedom of Information Act, and he's been the subject of controversy after a friend of his family sent a nasty e-mail to Arkansas quarterback Mitch Mustain last December. Mustain has since transferred.
Jones said more attention should be focused on Arkansas' 10 wins last season. The Razorbacks won 10 straight but lost their final three games to finish 10-4.
``That's the funny thing about this whole deal,'' Jones said. ``Granted, they lost the last three ballgames - kid doesn't fumble the punt, they're liable to beat Florida. Then you're having to put up with little knuckleheads trying to read your mail and stuff.''

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