Hog fans got some amazing news last night when multiple sources reported that Ryan Mallett would return to Arkansas for his junior season instead of declaring himself eligible for the NFL draft.
Today, it became official in a press conference this afternoon on the UA campus.
“I’ve decided to go ahead and stay at the University of Arkansas for this year, and continue to help build the championship tradition that we are getting started here. We’re excited.” Mallett said.
Mallett said that he did receive an evaluation from the NFL, but the feedback did not factor into his decision to stay at Arkansas. He also said his Liberty Bowl performance did not impact his decision. He said the decision was made shortly after the game in Memphis.
“I decided just a couple hours after the game, but I wanted to get away from Fayetteville and think about it. I actually called coach Petrino and I was going to tell him I was coming back and he didn’t answer.” Mallett said. “When I finally got ahold of coach to tell him it was kind of funny. I’m looking forward to putting the Razorback uniform back on with the rest of my teammates.”
Mallett said that he expects big things from the Razorbacks next season.
“It’s where I need to be. I’ve got another year to grow and mature both on and off the field,” he said. “We’ve got all the young receivers coming back, we’ve got the whole offensive line coming back except for Mitch. We should be better on defense. We’re looking to make a big step this year”
Here’s the full statement released by Mallett this afternoon:
“The decision making process was not easy and I have to thank everyone for allowing me to make one of the most important choices of my life. Everyone knows I grew up a Razorback fan and parked cars at homes games as a kid. The NFL is a goal of mine, but being a Razorback has always been my dream. Fayetteville is where my heart is and my work here is not finished. I know I can improve on several things on the field and off the field. I can become a stronger leader for this community and can use another year in college to continue my growth as a person. My dream was always to play for the Razorbacks and now I want more for all of us. Good quarterbacks set records and great quarterbacks play for and win championships. I’m excited for next season and working with my teammates to be a part of putting a championship culture in place here. The leadership of Chancellor Gearhart and our Director of Athletics Jeff Long is a model for me. I feel like Bobby Petrino is the greatest coach in the nation and we have the greatest fans in the nation. I want to help lead this team to a place among the nation’s elite and this community to have a mindset to expect greatness. I’m not saying we will get there every season, but that should always be our goal. I’m proud of who we are and I’m proud that I’m a Razorback.”