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Mallett family gathers, must wait another day

By Tom Murphy

This article was published April 29, 2011 at 3:24 a.m.

former-arkansas-quarterback-ryan-mallett-second-from-right-watches-the-nfl-draft-preview-show-at-a-hunting-lodge-near-stuttgart-on-thursday

Former Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett (second from right) watches the NFL Draft preview show at a hunting lodge near Stuttgart on Thursday.

— The Mallett family party will have to wait another night to reach its peak.

Ryan Mallett spent Thursday evening watching the NFL Draft with more than 70 family members, friends and invited guests at the Steel Wings duck lodge, but the former Arkansas quarterback was not one of the 32 players selected in the first round of the draft.

Mallett’s interest in the ESPN broadcast reached a high point in the middle part of the round with the back-to-back picks of the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins at Nos. 15 and 16. But neither of those teams, who had interest in taking a quarterback, chose Mallett.

Mallett’s draft watching will resume at 5 p.m. today with rounds two and three on the docket.

“Whatever team is going to be smart enough to pick me, we’re going to make something happen,” Mallett said just before Green Bay concluded the first round by taking Mississippi State’s Derek Sherrod, the 10th SEC player taken. “I just want to play ball,that’s what I say.

“I’m not disappointed. I mean I’m disappointed, but I have a chance to play in the NFL, so I’m not too disappointed.”

Mallett began the evening by greeting the entire group, who had assembled on the back porch for a prayer before a catfish dinner. The dinner was catered by King Cat of Carlisle, which was made famous by its work with Bill and Hillary Clinton during his presidency.

An early run on quarterbacks - with Cam Newton going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers, Jake Locker being a surprise pick at No. 8 by the Tennessee Titans, Blaine Gabbert going at No. 10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Christian Ponder being taken at No. 12 by the Minnesota Vikings - seemed to bode well for Mallett.

But there were no more quarterbacks taken after Ponder, leaving Mallett and TCU’s Andy Dalton as choice selections today.

“We’re excited about whatever team is going to draft Ryan,” said J.R. Carroll, his agent in Fayetteville. “Ryan is going to work as hard as he can, just like he did at Arkansas, to make that team proud and make the state proud.

“He just appreciates all the support he’s received from Arkansas tonight. He looks forward to getting on the football field and showing everybody exactly what he did in the SEC.”

There were gasps of surprise at Steel Wings after the Locker pick, just as there was a big reaction at the draft.There also was hope Mallett could go at No. 25 to Seattle before the Seahawks took former Alabama offensive tackle James Carpenter.

Mallett sat in a lounge chair by his girlfriend, Rachel Carlson, for much of the first round.But he got up and visited with family members and moved around for other sections of the 3 1/2 hour broadcast.

The Mallett family traveled in droves to the duck hunting lodge located five miles north of Humnoke in Logan County, just as they do to Razorbacks football games, reunions and other family gatherings.

Steel Wings, owned by Tom Schueck and run by farm manager Jay Hauk, proved a perfect venue.

“We have a lot of family functions here,” said Hauk, who is married to Jim Mallett’s niece. “The Mallett family is a huge family, as you can see. Plus, Ryan loves to hunt and fish, so this is the ideal place for us.”

The Malletts surrounded themselves with loved ones, including Carlson, a former Razorbacks soccer player, and her parents, Nan and Jeff Carlson of Tulsa.

Also on hand, in addition to dozens of family members, were fellow Texarkana product Brandon Barnett, one of Mallett’s former teammates, Mallett’s English teacher from Texas High, Susan Waldrep, and family friends Charlie and Gerita Moreton of Lincoln, who helped the Malletts adapt to the country life years ago.

It has been a bumpy few months for the Malletts. At times, the negative publicity exasperated Jim and Debbie Mallett, as their son was subject to rumors from anonymous sources about character concerns and off-the-field issues.

“Every time you turned on the TV it was something, people saying he didn’t have leadership qualities and that he wasn’t a team captain,” Debbie Mallett said. “I mean, they didn’t even know what they were talking about.

“It got to where I just turned the TV off.”

The Malletts will do it all again today at the duck lodge, this time with higher hopes of knowing Mallett’s NFL destination.

Sports, Pages 21 on 04/29/2011

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wolfman says... April 29, 2011 at 6:43 a.m.

god bless..young and dumb..dude stay in college and get an education. it will get you further than football!

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731 says... April 29, 2011 at 7:56 a.m.

wolfman says...
god bless..young and dumb..dude stay in college and get an education. it will get you further than football!

Wolfman, no offense, but I am not sure you know what in the world you are talking about. Ryan Mallett is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the world. He is about to enter the NFL and will more than likely end up making MILLIONS of dollars over the course of his 5-10 year career.
You know what my education (9 years and two master's degrees) got me?
$40,000 of student loans and a $38,000 a year salary. I was making that much money bartending my way through college.
He would be a fool to throw his talents away on an education, an injury could literally cost him millions, that he will more than likely not be able to make up over the course of a lifetime with the education you are going on about.
But, that is just my opinion.

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NoUserName says... April 29, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.

This:

"Wolfman, no offense, but I am not sure you know what in the world you are talking about."

Followed by this:

"Ryan Mallett is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the world."

Who doesn't know what he is talking about?

I get you're probably a Razorback fan. But lets not get carried away with the Mallett love here. He is nowhere near one of the most talented QBs in the world. Lets see if he gets beyond 3 or 4 years in the NFL first - and I'm not sure he will.

"He is about to enter the NFL and will more than likely end up making MILLIONS of dollars over the course of his 5-10 year career."

Well, had he been a first round pick, he would have made millions. As he drops, those millions fade away. Not sure if an extra year was the answer or not.

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arejayjr_cox.net says... April 29, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.

Hey Tom! Humnoke is in LONOKE, not Logan, county...welcome to Arkansas, my friend.

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LR1955 says... April 29, 2011 at 9:45 a.m.

Unfortunately the rumors of drug use have probably hurt his chances of a top stop. Sometimes just a little bit of pot CAN have a major impact on your future.

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dumblikeme says... April 29, 2011 at 10:04 a.m.

I just hope for his sake that Mallett's Football IQ is higher than his Social skills IQ.

“Whatever team is going to be smart enough to pick me...” ...Really? Did he just say that?

“I’m not disappointed. I mean I’m disappointed, but I have a chance to play in the NFL, so I’m not too disappointed.” ...And that?

If he had only known how to address the supposed "off the field issues" with reporters by putting them on the spot and asking them for details (which they would not have been able to provide), he could have been a first rounder.

Nearly every job application lists good communication skills as a requirement. Mallett's poor communications/social skills have probably cost him millions, but he'll still do ok in the end.

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LR1955 says... April 29, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.

Ark DemGaz censorship technique, Beware - there is another virtually identical article, same photo titled "Mallett family gathers, must wait another day" there are also comments...I'd be willing to bet that soon either this or the other article disappears depending the slant the comments take...I thought this might be happening

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Ran2133 says... April 29, 2011 at 12:58 p.m.

Mr. Murphy needs to take a course in Arkansas geography! He sure missed the mark on the location of the hunting lodge in this article!

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