Paging again on the Mallett myth

Submitted by Topher on January 5th, 2010 at 1:25 AM

My recent post asking for a compendium of refutations of Michigan myths either went unanswered or was misinterpreted as sarcasm...not a problem, but now can someone give me some hardcore sources on the Mallett situation? I've got a coaching buddy who is a smart guy but has it in for RR, and I need to set him straight on the RM case.


The Bugle

January 5th, 2010 at 2:39 AM ^

I second really wanting to know about this. I have heard rumors portraying Mallett as a pretty big jerk as well as others that said that he wanted to play at Arkansas/go back down south. Are there more reasons/more solid sources to confirm these rumors?


January 5th, 2010 at 3:20 AM ^

I have nothing solid at all, so take this for what it is worth.

When Mallett first arrived, there was all kinds of talk that he was not adjusting well to the cold weather, the school, and the general lifestyle. He eventually got over it and began adjusting.

There are many substantiated stories about Ryan being rather, ahem, confident in himself around campus. He also wasn't one to hide his affinity for a certain herb or the drink. I'm not one to judge by any means, but it was fairly well known around campus.

In terms of hard evidence, there are articles out there that basically state what Ryan wanted:

"Arkansas has always been a favorite of his," Jim Mallett said, "because he grew up a Razorback."

Supposedly, he always wanted to be at Arkansas. I don't think we'll ever know how true this is, what with the system change. But he is there now and he was an interesting character while in Ann Arbor.


January 5th, 2010 at 3:44 AM ^

different interpretations of the same story keep coming up.

I'm no insider, but the subject came up in
this post, partly prompted by my comment similar to your post, in comments

here (per "dearbornpeds"):

i attended the last fantasy camp run by carr and he told the entire group that mallett wanted to transfer before his freshman year-he was homesick and didn't feel as though he fit in. the coaching change may have been the final nudge but i don't belive rr could have done anything to change the outcome.

and here, in which "saveferris" links an espn article that says the following:

Myth: New Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez ran Mallett out of Michigan.

Fact: Mallett left Michigan on his own because he didn't want to operate in a run-based offense.

Mallett played in 11 games as a freshman at Michigan in 2007, completing 43.3 percent of his passes for 892 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions. He started three games for the injured Chad Henne, including games against Notre Dame and Penn State.

When Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr retired after the 2007 season, Michigan hired Rodriguez from West Virginia to replace him. Mallett knew Rodriguez's spread offense wasn't a good fit for him. Mallett decided to leave Ann Arbor after his first face-to-face meeting with Rodriguez.

"As far as what Coach Rodriguez wants his quarterbacks to do, we both agreed it wasn't for me," Mallett said. "I decided to take a pass and let him get his own guy in there to be successful."

Unfortunately, the two don't come out exactly the same, and the latter portrayal is not that terribly far from the sense of the quotation that precipated the post (see link above) in the first place:

Rodriguez wants to run the spread and the spread only and if that meant watching a guy such as Ryan Mallett, possibly the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft transfer to Arkansas, then so be it.

Perhaps this is CYA revisionism on RM's part?

I recall Brian was on this topic frequently during the transition, and when RM transferred, there were a glut of comments sharing unflattering first-hand portrayals of him (RM). At the time they seemed unnecessary, but with the RR-vs-RM myth/meme as it is, the truth might still be somewhere in there. I can't help you with details other than to direct your attention to the "Search this Site" window/button at the upper right next to the "Mgoblog" banner.


January 5th, 2010 at 7:29 AM ^

I'm not a young guy who's confident that he's going to be a top prospect for the NFL and can go elsewhere. I'm not a middle aged guy who just signed a 6 year contract at $2.5 million per year because he just went elsewhere. Maybe it's different for those guys.

To my ears a statement like "There was a reorganization at work. I had an amicable discussion with my new boss and we both decided that I wouldn't be a good fit for the new system." sounds like a reason to go home and start pouring Pepto and scotch cocktails. It doesn't sound like "My new boss pointed out that our helmets have wings."

At the same time, I can't see anyone thinking "Hmmm. Mallett. Sheridan/Threet/Cone. 'Freshman Who Hasn't Taken One Snap at the College Level'. Meh."

This could be a case of a negotiation between two extraordinarily confident individuals with divergent inclinations.


January 5th, 2010 at 3:35 AM ^

mallett wanted to go to arkansas from the beginning but didn't wanna sit behind mitch mustain for three years. he actually wanted to transfer as soon as he got up to michigan (and almost did, he was given his transfer papers). during the coaching change, he didn't think he would fit in with RR's offense so he left. mind you though, RR tried to recruit him 3 times and mallett still left. RR definitely did not run him off.


January 5th, 2010 at 9:10 AM ^

I'm no Mitch Mustain lover but it's not like Matt Barkley and Aaron Corp are scrubs. Also, supposedly Mustain ended the season as USC's #2 (Corp started against Washingtone this year, and was not sweet). Obviously, Mustain probably wont get a significant shot unless Barkley gets hurt for an extended period.

turbo cool

January 5th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

This is basically the same i've been told and know of. It wasn't that complicated of a situation. All of the reasons Obes stated were true. He was definitely an asshole too, not many of his teammates liked the guy but that was just a side note. That didn't cause the coaches to 'make' him transfer.

Other Chris

January 5th, 2010 at 7:16 AM ^

A person purporting to be Mallett's girlfriend's housemate used to post. She had some interesting gossip. He was certainly an ... active ... young man according to these stories!

And yeah, one who was homesick and not thrilled with the cold or LLoyd Carr telling him what to do.


January 5th, 2010 at 10:15 AM ^

He lived with a house of dance team girls, and was dating the one captain(I can't remember her name). From my experience hanging out at the house a couple times, it seemed like Lloyd had kind of pressured him to be more like Henne off the field. He was a bit immature, but the reason he left was definitely because he didn't want play in a run-option system. He decided to go to Michigan strictly because it had a great track record of producing high-quality NFL QB's. Although I would have loved to see him become a great QB for Michigan, he definitely made a wise decision by transferring to a system that better fits his skill set.


January 5th, 2010 at 7:50 AM ^

Mallet has an ego the size of Arkansas. The only reason he chose Michigan was because it was a direct pipeline to get him to the NFL where he always thought he belonged. Once RR took over it was a no brainer for him to leave and go to the only school he really cared for and that still ran a somewhat Pro style offense. Regardless of his difficulties with Carr I still think he would have stayed since that would have put him in the national spotlight and gotten him what he desired. Either way he was going to the NFL after his third year and so he is. I wish him nothing but failure.

Maize and Blue…

January 5th, 2010 at 8:03 AM ^

It was generally accepted once Mustain transferred out that Mallet was going home.
Remember after Mallet's first start and win against PSU while he was here that Chad Henne had to come out in the papers and say this is my team. That should tell you the size of the kid's head.
It was interesting to see him celebrate by himself after throwing the winning TD against LSU (I believe). He ran down his own sidelines and no one greeted him so he decided to throw his helmet towards his bench. No love even from his own team. Makes you wonder?


January 5th, 2010 at 8:34 AM ^

ever watch comedy about college life?

everyone of those movies has the stock characters who are just complete assholes and extremely cocky, very generic

Mallet was that guy


January 5th, 2010 at 10:00 AM ^

The idea that RR would drive him out of town is hilarious to me. He was a top flight recruit and the only decent QB on the roster, running him out of town would have been silly for so many reasons.

Change is good and Change is bad, for Ryan the new "O" was not a fit. Simple as that.


January 5th, 2010 at 10:09 AM ^

I understand why Mallett transferred. As a cannon armed statue, he was probably the worst possible match of talent or ability for RR's offense. I imagine RR wouldn't have had Mallett running 52 read options a game but that is RR's base play so they'd at least have to practice it and run it occassionally.

The idea that RR 'ran off' Mallett is completely ridiculous and has no factual basis. Losing Mallett is probably the most significant single cause of Michigan only winning 8 games in the last 2 seasons. I think it is much more likely that RR didn't coddle Mallett, maybe even as much as Carr did, and that is a good thing. I am frequently perplexed why the media doesn't latch onto these types of things as a sign of RR's integrity (that he will lose a great player rather than compromise his ideals) but whatev.

I bear Mallett no ill will. Right now, I view Mallett as a humorous figure that is someone else's problem. I hope he comes out in the draft so we can stop talking about this, though.

I don't need rumors to tell me Mallett was a problem. I saw with my own eyes Mallett arguing during games with Carr and his teammates (Manningham in particular.) That is enough for me to assume Mallett was the source of significant friction.

Would Mallett have stayed if Carr had stayed? It's an interesting academic question but not pertinent to Michigan's present situation. There were no circumstances under which Carr was going to stay.


January 5th, 2010 at 11:58 AM ^

Mustain was always a key factor in Mallett's decision making between Arkansas and Michigan, both in coming to Michigan and transferring back to Arkansas.

Mallett's talents did not fit in RR's system.

Bluntly, the guy's kind of a dick and so there wasn't much effort to change his mind.


January 5th, 2010 at 1:47 PM ^

I basically heard the same stories as others have noted here - Mallet was disenchanted with the team even while Carr was on board, went to Arkansas as soon as RR showed up because he would have been a horrible fit for the system, and might have been a bit of a prima donna. Yes, he put up some nice numbers this year at Arkansas, but about 2/3 (19/30 tds) of his production came against teams like Miss St., Troy, and Texas A&M, not necessarily elite secondaries. He played well in a wide-open offense that needed to score a bunch because the defense was nothing to write home about. I wish him the best in the pros, but I don't think RR drove him away, or that he would have made much difference the past two years outside of maybe 1-2 wins.