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April 25, 2006

Mallett is ready

One of the nation's top quarterbacks, Ryan Mallett, has decided to end the speculation and make his college announcement Tuesday afternoon on a local radio station in Texarkana, Texas.

The Rivals.com pre-evaluation Rivals100 member has his list narrowed down to Alabama, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame. Mallett, arguably one of the top overall prospects in the state of Texas also held offers from other schools such as Texas, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Arkansas.

Michigan is being hailed as the most likely destination for Mallett. Early on in the process, the 6-foot-7, 235-pound gunslinger took in the Wolverines summer camp before his junior year. Though he also made stops at Texas, Nebraska, and Arkansas, Mallett mentioned at that time that the trip to Ann Arbor stood out. Later on in the process, he narrowed his list to just Texas and Michigan. He liked both situations in regards to playing time and also felt comfortable with both coaching staffs. The Longhorns, however, gave Mallett a deadline on a decision after receiving a commitment from athlete/quarterback prospect John Chiles. The in-state star needed more time and UT went elsewhere for a signal caller by picking up a commitment from top Florida passer John Brantley. Since then, many people believed that Ann Arbor would be his final destination.

Alabama was another school that came on late for the talented quarterback. After receiving an offer from the Crimson Tide, he had a long phone conversation with head coach Mike Shula. Mallett mentioned that before the offer he was interested in Alabama. However, the Lone Star prospect was planning on making a visit to the campus after his offer came through. Apparently his decision will come before the big announcement, but it was obvious that there is a definite interest there from Mallett.

After Texas picked up both of their quarterback commitments, Florida State was another school that jumped right back into the mix. Mallett picked up the phone and called assistant coach Kevin Steele to work out a visit date. Like Bama, Mallett looks to make his decision before any visit will take place. However, there was definitely a lot of interest from Mallett on the chance to meet a coach like Bobby Bowden. The Seminoles, like Alabama look to be outside shots. Nonetheless, they have been in the thick of things.

There were ties to Arkansas early in the process as Mallett's uncle started out coaching there and at the University of Central Arkansas. Being born there, Mallett had plenty of ties to the program. However, the addition of Mitch Mustain last year and the happenings with that, pushed Mallett to look elsewhere. He also took a camp trip to Arkansas before his junior season.

Even as the process was starting to wind down for the top rated signal caller, Mallett mentioned Oklahoma as a possible destination somewhat often. He called the Sooners one of two "schools that are in the running." Mallett was going to head up to check out the Sooners in Norman, but like the others, will be making a decision before making any visits. It appears with his commitment coming soon, the Sooners are on the outside looking in at this point.

His decision could come at any time between 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. CST live on a local radio station in Texarkana. Will Michigan get their man or will this be a surprise decision to one of many suitors? Stay tuned to Rivals.com for the latest.


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