In the days leading up to the Jan. 15 deadline for eligible players to make themselves for the 2010 NFL draft, there was some speculation that Ryan Mallett could be a one-and-done at Arkansas.
When the quarterback announced that he was returning for another season, the whole of Razorback nation breathed a huge sigh of relief. As did the coaching staff and pretty much anyone associated with the football program.
According to Mallett, though, there never really was any doubt as to which path his immediate football future would take.
“No, I really wasn’t [thinking about leaving early],” Mallett said in a FOX Sports Radio interview as relayed by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “I told my mom I was going to graduate before I left, so I promised her that. That was one main reason I came back but also knowing who we had coming back and how great the team has a chance to be.
“Another reason was I felt like just playing one year and leaving the team, it wasn’t fair to the team, to the fans and to the state. We’ve got the greatest fans in the NCAA I feel like. To just play one year and leave, I didn’t feel like it was fair to a lot of people.”
Mallett, a fourth-year junior who’s on schedule to graduate next year — expected to be his final year in Fayetteville — also discussed his recovery from surgery on a broken bone in his foot. The injury and subsequent surgery forced Mallett to miss spring practice, but he should be 100-percent healthy by the summer camp starts, or sometime shortly thereafter.
“In June, I’m going to be able to run straight ahead,” Mallett said during the interview. “I’m not going to be able to go side-to-side until maybe July or August. It’s just precautionary. We’re not going to rush it. What we’re going to do is stick with the plan and make sure everything heals up right. We don’t want to rush it, miss something and have another problem with it.”