According to the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who later had a seven-year NFL career, died on Tuesday in an apparent drowning at a Florida beach. He was 35.

First responders were summoned to a beach in Destin, Florida, about 2:12 p.m. local time, according to the sheriff’s office, when a group of persons swimming in the Gulf of Mexico close to a sandbar tried to return to shore. One of the victims, subsequently named as Mallett, was dragged from the river unconscious and sent to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead.

In a message on its website, White Hall, the Arkansas school district where Mallett coached high school football, said, “It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Coach Ryan Mallett.” “Coach Mallett was a well-liked educator and coach. Please remember in your thoughts his family, team, players, coaches, and the staff of the White Hall School District.

Prior to moving to Arkansas, Mallett played for the University of Michigan for one season. In his two seasons there, he threw for 7,493 yards and 62 touchdowns. He led the Razorbacks to an 8-5 record and victory in the Liberty Bowl in 2009 as a redshirt sophomore for coach Bobby Petrino, for which he was named Offensive MVP.

His greatest year was 2010, when he completed 64.7 percent of his passes for 3,869 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions, earning second-team All-SEC honours for the second consecutive year. In the 2010 Heisman Trophy vote, he came in sixth place.

Ryan Mallett’s demise has left the Arkansas football team “shocked and saddened,” according to a statement on Twitter from the programme. He was a Razorback legend with a demeanour to match his talent, which was out of this world. He guided our group through some of our most memorable occasions in recent years. Everyone who knew him will miss him. His mother Debbie and the rest of his family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Mallett was chosen by the New England Patriots in the third round (74th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draught. Mallett was chosen as one of Tom Brady’s backups because, according to head coach Bill Belichick, the club could never have enough quarterback depth.

Then, Belichick remarked, “We simply felt that he was a terrific player. He has excelled in every setting, including high school and college. He is a fascinating man to converse with.

Belichick explained how the Patriots had studied Mallett’s collegiate career from the time he enrolled at Michigan in 2007 until he went to Arkansas in response to a new Wolverines coaching staff implementing a different offence. Mallett was a pro-style quarterback at Arkansas under Petrino, and Belichick remarked how well he performed there in 2011, saying: “He’s pretty far along relative to some other quarterbacks we’ve seen.”

Belichick issued a statement on Tuesday in which he expressed his “extreme sadness” over Mallett’s “tragic passing” and his condolences to his family and “the many people whose lives he touched.”

We lost a terrific man, Brady remarked in a social media message. Ryan, I appreciate everything.

Brady’s durability and infrequent game exits in New England limited Mallett to only 24 snaps as his backup. Prior to the 2014 campaign, he was traded to the Houston Texans, where he spent parts of two seasons playing nine games and making six starts until being released in October 2015. Later, he signed with the Baltimore Ravens, for whom he appeared in eight games and started twice through 2017.

Coach John Harbaugh of the Ravens remarked, “Ryan was a part of us,” in a team tweet. “I will always remember the love he had for his teammates and for making the most of, and enjoying, every football day while here.”

On November 16, 2014, Mallett led Houston to a 23-7 victory over Cleveland in his debut start. Passing a 2-yard touchdown to defensive end J.J. Watt was his first of his career.
Ryan Mallett death

Ryan Mallett death

“Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett,” Watt tweeted. Way too quickly gone. Peace be with you, brother.

Mallett made eight starts over his career’s 21 NFL games of appearance. In the NFL, he finished 190 of his 345 passes for 1,835 yards, nine touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

After beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Mountain Home High School in 2022, Mallett was appointed as the head football coach at White Hall High School in his home state of Arkansas.

After being hired as White Hall’s coach, Mallett reportedly commented, “I always knew I was going to coach,” as reported by the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. It just comes naturally to me. I recognise it. I understand how everything functions, and I also adore football. I truly appreciate getting to educate young children the proper way to do things.

The Associated Press, Reuters, and Mike Reiss of ESPN all contributed to this story.

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