Former Arkansas and NFL QB Ryan Mallett dies at 35

Courtesy of Andrew Graham of

Former Arkansas and NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett reportedly drowned in Floridaand died on Tuesday. He was 35.

Mallett, who was most recently coaching high school football at White Hall High School in White Hall, Arkansas. He had last played in the NFL in 2017 after a seven-year career. 

Mallett played football at Arkansas from 2008-2010. He began his college career at Michigan, before transferring after one season.

One of the top high school quarterback prospects in the nation in the 2007 signing class, Mallett chose the Wolverines out of Texas (Tx.) High School in Texarkana, Texas. But the Batesville, Arkansas, native returned to his home state after his season in Ann Arbor.

After redshirting the 2008 season, Mallett started for the Razorbacks in 2009 and 2010.

He was solid in 2009, completing 55.8% of passes on 403 attempts for 3624 yards. He tossed 30 touchdowns to seven interceptions that year as Arkansas went 8-5 and won the Liberty Bowl. Mallett was the MVP of that game, throwing for 202 yards and a touchdown as the Razorbacks prevailed, 20-17, in overtime.

Mallett offered an encore in 2010 that placed him seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting at the end of the year. He threw the ball 411 times and completed 64.7% of his attempts, racking up 3869 passing yards. He did throw 12 interceptions, but they were overwhelmed by his 32 touchdowns. The Razorbacks went 10-3 that year, playing in the Sugar Bowl to end the year.

After his college career, Mallett entered the 2011 NFL Draft. The New England Patriots selected him with the 74th overall pick in the third round of the draft. 

Mallett played three seasons in New England as a backup before signing with the Houston Texans, where he played the 2014 and part of the 2015 season. He signed with the Baltimore Ravens during the 2015 season after being released by the Texans, and stayed in Baltimore through 2017.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazzette’s Adam Cole reported Mallett was named the head coach for White Hall High School in Arkansas. Mallett previously served as the offensive coordinator at Mountain Home (Ark.) High School.

He took over a White Hall team that went 11-3 the previous year and finished as state runners-up with a loss to Pulaski Academy in the state title game. He replaced Bobby Bolding, who resigned after the 2021 season but remained at the school as athletic director.

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