Ryan Mallett, who parlayed a successful two-year stint at Arkansas into a seven-year career as a backup quarterback in the NFL, drowned in Northern Florida on Tuesday. He was 35.
Mallett played in the NFL from 2011-2017 and later became a high school football coach in Arkansas. Last fall was his first season as the head coach of White Hall High School in White Hall, Ark.
The superintendent of White Hall School District confirmed the news to KNWA in Fayetteville, Ark.
Mallett was vacationing in Florida with his girlfriend. Multiple reports said Mallett was rushed to a local hospital before being pronounced dead, and other details are not yet known.
Mallett transferred to Arkansas in 2008 after spending his freshman season at Michigan. He took over the Razorbacks' job in 2009 and racked up 7,493 yards, 62 touchdowns and a 60.3 completion percentage over the next two seasons. He was intercepted 19 times.
In 2010, he finished seventh in Heisman Trophy voting after throwing for 3,869 yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions with a 64.7 completion percentage.
The New England Patriots drafted Mallett in the third round of the 2011 draft and he saw little time for them while backing up Tom Brady. He was traded to the Houston Texans ahead of the 2014 season and got into nine games for Houston, starting six, over parts of two seasons with the team.
Said former Texans star J.J. Watt, a former teammate of Mallett: "Horrible news to read about Ryan Mallett. Gone way too soon. Rest in Peace brother."
In 21 career games (eight starts) for New England, Houston and the Baltimore Ravens, Mallett threw for 1,835 yards, nine TDs and 10 picks.
--Field Level Media