A recent 247Sports feature took a look at the 25 best quarterback prospects of the modern recruiting era.
In it, the recruiting outlet compiled a list of the most highly rated quarterbacks coming out of high school over the last couple decades.
Only two Arkansans are listed – Mitch Mustain at No. 21 and Ryan Mallett at No. 16 (ahead of Matthew Stafford, Spencer Rattler and DJ Uiagalelei).
Both quarterbacks have quite a few “What ifs” overhanging their careers, but in different ways. For Mustain, the focus is on what he could have been had he been able to stay at Arkansas after his freshman year.
Mallett, meanwhile, did about all you could ask (outside of beating Alabama and Ohio State) of a Hogs quarterback in his two seasons.
He won 18 games, and ranks No. 2 all-time in career passing yardage with 7,493 yards behind only Tyler Wilson. He’s also second in career touchdown passes with 62 (behind Brandon Allen).
But with Ryan Mallett, the biggest questions marks involve the NFL career that followed. Over the course of three seasons, he essentially wasted his chance at becoming Tom Brady’s heir apparent in New England.
Later, during a 14-month stop in Houston, he reportedly slept in and missed practice.
In his NFL career, he completed 190 of 345 passes (55.1%) for 1,835 yards with 9 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He lost five of the eight games he started.
Getting cut from a job in which you’re paid millions to throw a ball because of punctuality issues is never a good look.
Ryan Mallett Tries Again for the NFL
Mallet hasn’t played in the NFL for a few years but he’s not ready to hang them up yet.
Today, he returned to Houston to start training with a minor league team full of ex NFL players and college players known as the Generals. It’s part of the Spring League, development league that provides a platform for former stars looking to break back into the NFL.
With a TV contract with FS1 and Fox and six-week schedule, it provides exposure for those who aspire to catch the eye of pro scouts and fill a spot in the training camps of NFL teams.
To the 32-year-old Mallett, it doesn’t matter that he won’t get paid beyond food and lodging.
Or that he’s much older than teammates and opponents with a median age of 24.
He’s just ready to take advantage of what could be his last shot at returning to the big league.
“I’m 11 out of 10 excited about it,” he told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
“I’ve got some personal things to prove, not to anybody but myself. I’m just ready to get back out there and compete.”
He added: “I think I’m probably in the best shape I’ve been in in a long time. I’ve been getting in shape on my own.”
For Ryan Mallett to make the most of this opportunity, he’ll need to show he’s considerably more self-disciplined and attentive to details than he was a few years ago.
The jury is still out on how much he’s matured in the last couple years.
In 2019, he was arrested for drunk driving in Springdale, but in early-mid 2020 he seemed to bounce back from that by moving to Mountain Home, apparently to put down roots with a new wife and start teaching and coaching at Mountain Home High School.
But, behind the appearance of an easy-going life fishing, hunting and molding young minds, all was not well in Mallettville.
Ryan Mallet’s Ex Is the Type of Person Who Wants to You to Pay Her for Pics
Mallett was married to a young Arkansan woman named Tiffany Seeley for four months in 2020.
Seeley is not the kind of person you would consider “shy” or “reserved” or “not liable to show and divulge everything on social media.”
Thinking back to earlier in 2020, she wrote on Facebook:
“I moved to mountain home and my significant other and I both started new jobs. We began building a new beautiful home across from my grandparents in cotter and we got married.”
“Then came Covid, cheating, and drama around the corner to wake me up from this fairytale I thought I was living. Anyway, to say the least I’ve been waiting for 2021 as many people have been.”
After some divorce litigation involving dog custody and $72,000, they split for good.
Both feel like they’ve bounced back.
In Seeley’s case, bouncing back includes starting an account on OnlyFans.com where you can pay $30 a month to see plenty of pictures of her.
She seems at peace with her decisions, and is even aiming to make it in the big league of modeling in the same way Mallett’s trying to break into the NFL.
Seeley has her eyes set on making it as a Maxim cover girl and is looking for extra votes to make her dream come true.
“I am 26 years old from Arkansas,” she wrote on her Maxim home page. “I’m a blast to be around and always looking for a good time.”
“Always setting the goal higher.”
Ryan Mallet is aiming to be the same way.
Scrimmaging and practicing with Mountain Home Bomber football players is one way he’s been preparing for a development league.
“Mallett said throwing to the high school players has helped him work on his touch,” the Democrat-Gazette’s Tom Murphy wrote. “Always known for having a huge arm, one of the knocks on Mallett coming out of college was his lack of touch on short throws.”
“We have quarterback workouts three times a week before school, and I get in there and show them the drills and do them with them,” Mallett added.
“We’ve had receivers with them the last few weeks, so I’ve been throwing. During the season last year, I would throw against our defense for 7 on 7, sometimes team and things like that.”
“There might be a little rust to knock off that will take a practice or two, but other than that I think I’ll be all right.”
As far as his coaching and teaching at Mountain Home High, Mallett said he and his administrators allowed him to quit teaching at the end of last week to resurrect his playing career.
“They’ve all been very supportive,” Mallett told Murphy.
“It’s like we tell our kids here, ‘If you want something, go earn it.’ So it’s kind of what I’m trying to do myself.”
Ryan Mallett Makes Strong (But Unintentional) Case to Join Hogs Coaching Staff