Mallett Visits Arkansas

Updated story on how new Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino and his staff got a chance to impress former Texas High star and Michigan transfer Ryan Mallett on Friday as he and his family visited the University of Arkansas campus.

Once upon a time it seemed like five-star prospect Ryan Mallett would be the quarterback for his beloved University of Arkansas.

But Mitch Mustain's signing with the Razorbacks and hence Mallett's decision to go to Michigan circumvented that dream.

But is the timing now right for the two to hook up?

With Mustain now at USC and Mallett (6-7, 250) transferring from Michigan, the former Texas High star and Arkansas native visited the UA on Friday for most of the day and visited with Razorback coaches.

Sources indicate the visit is now over and that a decision one way or the other could come in the near future.

The 19-year-old Mallett is apparently considering Arkansas, Texas A&M, UCLA and Tennessee, the latter three schools being places that former Michigan quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler has interviewed recently.

"I'm not leaning one way or the other," Mallett told the Detroit News in a story in its Thursday edition. "I've been talking to some schools, and I'll make a decision in about a week."

Arkansas hopes he enjoyed himself in Fayetteville on Friday to go ahead and pledge to be a Razorback.

New UA coach Bobby Petrino is a huge proponent of a drop back passing game, something that Mallett didn't think was going to happen if he stayed at Michigan under new head coach Rich Rodriguez.

"I felt like I was forced out because of the offense that's coming in," Mallett told the News by phone as he left Ann Arbor and the Michigan program Wednesday on his way home to Arkansas.

"I was recruited to be a drop-back passer," Mallett said. "I have nothing against Coach Rod, but the system is forcing me out."

Mallett was named a U.S. Army All-American after his high school career, one in which he passed for nearly 8,000 yards and 73 touchdowns.

After enrolling early at Michigan, Mallett played in 11 games as a true freshman and completed 61-of-141 passes for 892 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

With senior starter Chad Henne injured, he made his first start against fellow balley-hooed freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame and led the Wolverines to a 38-0 pasting of the Irish.

Mallett, who almost transferred over the summer, thinks arriving early and being thrown into the fire had both its positives and negatives.

"Coming in early, it helped me a lot, and it hurt me," Mallett told the News. "I didn't progress those first three or four months, because I missed home.

"But I learned a lot about football. I've grown over the past year a lot. If I didn't have the right attitude, I found out real quick. It wasn't like guys getting in my face or getting on me, but guys telling me, 'Hey, you should do this.' I'm leaving a lot of good friends."


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