Sources have indicated that freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett is looking to transfer out of the University of Michigan. The highly-touted recruit was expected to replace Chad Henne as the starter next season.
Mallett, a Texas native, has apparently been homesick since his arrival in Ann Arbor in August and has been looking to fair-weather programs in the South -- most notably Arkansas, now under highly successful head coach Bobby Petrino.
Michigan's recent coaching shift might also have had a serious impact on the freshman's decision. Under Lloyd Carr, Michigan was running more of a pro-passing offense -- one in which Mallett could have possibly excelled. With the hiring of Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia, Michigan will undoubtedly shift to the spread offense, which typically favors a smaller, faster quarterback. Rodriguez will likely seek a more svelte, athletic quarterback than the 6'6", 220-lb Mallett. Some examples of recently successful spread offense quarterbacks are Chase Daniel (Missouri), Todd Reesing (Kansas), Pat White (West Virginia), Chris Leak and Tim Tebow (Florida).
Michigan has had a tumultuous year, beginning with the passing of idolized long-time head coach Bo Schembechler, and most likely ending with a loss to Urban Meyer's Florida Gators in the Capital One Bowl. Over that year, Michigan has suffered two losses to rival Ohio State (one of which precluded them from the BCS National Championship), a big loss to USC in the Rose Bowl, an embarrassing home-opener to Appalachian State, as well as losses to Oregon and Wisconsin and the retirement of Lloyd Carr, leading to a confusing and painful search for a new coach with rejections by Michigan alum Les Miles and Rutgers' head coach Greg Schiano. The loss of Mallett would set the stage for a thorough rebuilding period for the Wolverines.