Mallett, who broke or tied 12 school records in 2009, had submitted paperwork to the NFL Draft Advisory Committee for Underclassmen in December, but said in the end his desire to "build a championship tradition" with the Razorbacks outweighed those to play on Sundays.
"It was a decision that had to be made after the season," Mallett said. "After talking to Coach (Bobby) Petrino and Coach (Garrick) McGee, and my parents, I decided it was the best for me to come back. We've got a great team that's coming back (next) year."
Arkansas is coming off an 8-5 season following a 20-17 overtime win against East Carolina in the Autozone Liberty Bowl last Saturday. With Mallett returning, Arkansas will have at least nine starters back from an offense that ranked in the top 15 nationally in passing offense, scoring offense and total offense last season.
Junior tight end D.J. Williams also submitted paperwork to the advisory committee and has yet to announce his plans. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the April draft.
Mallett, a transfer from Michigan, passed for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns last season. He was named Liberty Bowl MVP after passing for 202 yards and a score in that game, and was voted second-team all-SEC by both the Associated Press and league coaches.
Arkansas offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Garrick McGee said he felt Mallett had made the right choice.
"I think the main message he sent was that he came to back to help his teammates win," McGee said. "I think that's part of what I've said all along – that the kid is growing up. I think the decision for him to take off right now and take the money while it was there would have been an immature decision. It proved that we were right and he is growing up.
"I think he'll be in a better position to have a long career as an NFL player and to be a reason a franchise is winning, so I think that's the biggest part of him coming back."
McGee said he believes Mallett needs to show more consistency before he's ready to move on.
"He's got a lot to work on; his footwork, getting his body in position, getting bigger and stronger, getting the game to slow down by studying more film," McGee said. "I'm ready to see him play next season."
With his return Mallett will almost assuredly be mentioned among the best players nationally in the preseason. He is expected to be an early favorite to win the school's first Heisman Trophy.
"We have a saying that the reason you come to the SEC and play quarterback is, you get your team to the SEC championship -- that's the first step," McGee said. "You win that game, you get yourself in position to go to the national championship and win. And if you are the quarterback of a national championship team that won the SEC championship, you're in position to win the Heisman.
"And I think it's in that order. You've got to win first."
Mallett said added maturity will help in dealing with the pressure to perform.
"I'm not 18-years-old anymore," Mallett said. "I know how to handle it now and I've gotten better with the media and the coaches, and everything. I think I'll be able to handle it OK."