In news that should surprise absolutely no one, Ryan Mallett declared for the 2011 NFL Draft today. There will be plenty of time for reflection on his Razorback career and speculation as to what will come next for the Hogs, but for now let's just say this:
When Mallett transferred to Arkansas from Michigan way back in early 2008, hopes were high that he could join forces with Bobby Petrino and lead the Razorbacks into a new era. 62 touchdowns, 39 school records and 7496 passing yards later, we'll call it mission accomplished. Thanks, #15, for the memories and may you torch many defenses in the big leagues.
Official statements from both Mallett and Petrino are after the jump:
Mallett 's statement:
"After careful consideration, I have decided to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft. Ever since I was a kid, my dream has always been to play for the Razorbacks and I am thankful I had the opportunity to do so. A year ago, when I returned to school I said I wanted to help lead this team to a place among the nation's elite and for the Razorback community to have a mindset to expect greatness. There is no doubt we got there together and this program will continue to play games on the biggest stages and when it does we'll come out swinging. Playing in the NFL is a goal of mine and I am grateful to the people that have prepared me to take the next step. Coach (Bobby) Petrino is a winner, a man of character and the hardest worker I have ever seen. I'd also like to thank Coach (Garrick) McGee for everything he has done for me and in particular helping develop my mental approach to the game. The leadership of Chancellor David Gearhart and Director of Athletics Jeff Long is a model for me and I am extremely appreciative of the tireless work they do for all University of Arkansas students every day. The Razorback fans are the greatest in the country and their support for me and the team throughout my career has been humbling. Arkansas is where my heart is and I'm proud to say that I will always be a Razorback."
"I am very proud of Ryan Mallett and I can't say enough about what he has done for this program. Leaders do their job extremely well and lift everyone around them to compete better and Ryan does those things. One of the greatest parts about coaching is watching individuals become adults while they are in college and Ryan has certainly developed not just as a player, but as a person. I know Ryan will be successful in life and I wish him the best in the NFL."