Several in-state prospects in the rising senior, junior and even sophomore classes were impressive at this week's Razorback football camp, but so far only one scholarship offers has been issued.[details]
2010 (Junior): A top candidate for postseason awards who possesses one of the strongest arms in college football. Since announcing his intentions to return to college football for his junior season, he has been named a first-team preseason All-America and All-SEC honoree by numerous outlets. Mallett is the only quarterback from a BCS conference returning this season that finished in the top 10 in pass efficiency in 2009 (152.5, seventh nationally and third-highest in SEC history). In 2009, he set or tied 16 different Arkansas school records. He sustained a broken bone in his left foot during conditioning drills on Feb. 17, which he turned into a positive by focusing on the mental part of the game during spring 2010 drills. The 32 career touchdowns he has been responsible for and his 30 career touchdown passes rank as the highest totals by active SEC players entering 2010.
2009 (Sophomore): Mallett started all 13 games and completed 225-of-403 passes for 3,624 yards and 30 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. He was honored as one of 10 finalists for the Manning Award and was named the College Football Performance Awards National Performer of the Year. He was a first-team All-SEC selection by ESPN.com and was a second-team honoree by the AP and the league coaches. He was named the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl MVP and was the only quarterback in the SEC to earn the league offensive player of the week honors outright two times. In his first season in the SEC, he led the league in touchdown passes (30), passing yards per game (278.8) and total offense (276.5). He was also second in the league and seventh nationally in pass efficiency (152.5). He was the only player in the SEC to throw five-or-more touchdown passes in three different games. He also led the league in 400-yard passing performances with two and 300-yard passing performances with five.
He led the nation in pass efficiency in home games (191.87). He also led the nation in completions of 25-or-more yards with 44. In addition, he led the SEC in passes of 50-or-more yards (10) and passes of 15-or-more yards (89). He finished high in several SEC single-season categories: 152.5 pass efficiency rating (third), 3,595 total yards gained (seventh); touchdown responsibility (32, T10); 3,624 passing yards gained (eighth); 30 touchdown passes (T12). His completion percentage of 85.2 against South Carolina tied for the fifth-highest single-game effort in SEC history (23-of-27).
2008 (Redshirt): He practiced with the scout team while sitting out as a transfer from Michigan. He received a lot of work in the spring before missing the final two weeks with a dislocated thumb on his throwing hand. He suffered the injury in the first major scrimmage when he hit the helmet of a defender after following through on a pass attempt. To that point in the April 11 scrimmage, he was five-of-11 for 43 yards.
2007 (Freshman): At Michigan before transferring to Arkansas after his true freshman season, Mallett played in 11 games and completed 61-of-141 passes (.433) for 892 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions. He started three games for injured starter Chad Henne. He made his debut against Oregon and played the entire second half. He started against Notre Dame, Penn State and Northwestern. He threw for a personal-best 245 yards and three touchdowns against Wisconsin.
Personal: Born June 5, 1988, he is the son of Jim and Debbie Mallett. He is majoring in sociology.
High School: During his prep career, he completed 526-of-938 passes for 8,331 yards and 76 touchdowns for Coach Barry Norton. As a senior, he set school records by completing 204-of-321 passes for 3,353 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, and led his team to the state quarterfinals. He was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Texas and 2006 second-team All-USA by USA Today. He also earned a spot on the EA Sports first-team All-America Multi-Purpose team and the Parade Magazine All-America team. Mallett was honored as the 2006 Player of the Year by the Texarkana Gazette and voted the AP Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year. As a junior, he completed 133 passes for 2,219 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for six scores. He had 151 completions for 2,307 yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore. He also ran for seven touchdowns. Out of high school, he was rated the No. 2 quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com. Rivals listed him as the No. 4 overall prospect in the nation. Rivals also listed him the No. 1 player in Texas.
Notes: Son of a high school coach in Texas. Highly recruited Texarkana product who was a Parade and USA Today All-American and Texas' Gatorade Player of the Year. Committed to Michigan and then-head coach Lloyd Carr in '07 - backed up Dolphins '08 second-rounder Chad Henne, playing 11 games (three starts as an injury replacement) and completing 61-of-141 pass attempts (43.3 percent) for 892 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. Believing his skills would not fit new head coach Rich Rodriguez's spread offense, Mallett transferred to Arkansas and sat out '08 per NCAA rules. Missed the final two weeks of spring practice after dislocating his right (throwing) thumb. Was arrested early March '09 for public intoxication then suffered a minor left shoulder injury during spring practice. In the fall, led the Southeastern Conference in touchdown passes and passing yards (278.8 per game) and set or tied 16 school passing records - started all 13 games and passed 225-403-3,624-30-7 (55.8), including a national-best 44 completions of 25 yards or more. Had surgery in January '10 to tighten his left shoulder. Broke his left foot during February '10 conditioning drills. In the fall, amassed 266-411-3,869-32-12 (64.7) in 13 starts. Missed time with concussion (Auburn) and right shoulder injury (Ole Miss). Elected to not perform 40-yard dash, 3-cone drill or shuttle runs at Combine. Team captain. Had a 21-8 career starting record.
Positives: Has excellent size and a rocket arm to laser the ball into tight windows and effortlessly heave it 70 yards. Has a tall, over-the-top delivery and a high release point. Rare arm strength - can generate the ball velocity of a JUGS machine and make every throw without setting his feet. Rallied come-from-behind victories vs. Georgia and LSU on the road and can flip the field quickly.
Negatives: Very streaky. Makes ill-advised decisions zeroing in on receivers and overly relying on his arm strength. Needs to learn to subtract from his fastball. Is too easily rattled by pressure and struggles to sidestep the rush and maneuver in the pocket - cannot escape his own shadow. Mechanics always could be a problem (too many moving parts) - and the ball tends to sail. Inconsistent accuracy and ball placement and it diminishes greatly on the move, where he makes his receivers work too hard for the ball. Limited field vision - does not cycle through progressions. Flustered against Alabama, taking back-to-back delay-of-game penalties while looking to the sideline for the call, and could not close on big stages against Alabama or Ohio State. Received a personal foul vs. Texas A&M for dropping an elbow. Does not play with energy or demonstrate on-field command. Immature, is not a respected leader and character needs to be evaluated very closely. Does not come across well in interviews and must prove his commitment to the game.
Summary: A tall, lumbering, rocket-balling pocket passer who sprays live bullets, Mallett began to settle down as a senior and fits very well in a vertical passing attack, but issues still reside about his makeup and lack of maturity. Will not be able to live off his arm talent alone in the NFL, and his inaccuracy and shaky decision making are concerning.