Personally, while on a visit to the University of Arkansas, I had the opportunity to meet Mallett as he began preparing to be the starter in 2009. He was so excited to be a Razorback and help return the football program back to national prominence.
There was excitement about the pieces surrounding him that were returning to the team, especially the wide receiver group. Jarius Wright, Greg, Charles and Joe Adams already displayed promise as freshmen. Then, add in budding superstar tight end, DJ Williams, and promising running back Knile Davis and it made the offense truly prolific.
Recalling my first game in Fayetteville against Georgia in 2009, the excitement surrounded Razorback Stadium and poured inside of it. The atmosphere electric, we were able to watch Mallett in his first home start rewrite the record books for single game passing in nearly every statistical category possible. Mallett shredded the Bulldog defense to a tune of 409 yards passing and 5 touchdowns that night in a 52-41 loss.
Despite a losing effort, Arkansas football was the ticket to buy. A foundation of an exciting brand of football was set with Mallett holding the keys to greatness. And, he took them there.
What we saw that night on the hill was destiny. A guy that was going to sling it all around the field put up gaudy stats. All the while creating highlight reel plays with each snap.
He had fans on the edge of their seats due to the wow factor displayed.
His career was something to behold, something to treasure. Every single person on that team, each personnel member and the whole coaching staff loved and adored Mallett. They responded to him, played for him and fought with him. Mallett had the heart of a Razorback.
There are simply too many memories to pen to this right now as they overflow our minds. Simply put, he was one of the greatest to don the cardinal and white.
As a Pro
Following the 2010 season, Mallett was drafted by the New England Patriots with the 74th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He would spend seven seasons in the league with the Patriots, Texans and Ravens.
After his playing career ended, Mallett went into coaching first as a football assistant at Mountain Home High School. He would then be hired as head coach at White Hall High School for the 2022 season.
Mallett was quoted in a recent interview with Whole Hog Sports saying, “My job is to help shape and mold young people. This is the time a lot of them are finding out about themselves. I hope I can help them,”
Rest in peace 15. You will be missed and your memory will live forever.