Ex-NFL QB Ryan Mallett dies of apparent drowning at 35

Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett spent his final season in 2017 with the Baltimore Ravens. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI
1 of 5 | Former NFL quarterback Ryan Mallett spent his final season in 2017 with the Baltimore Ravens. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

June 28 (UPI) -- Former NFL and University of Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett died of an apparent drowning in Destin, Fla., the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said. He was 35.

Officials said a group of first responders were called to the beach at about 2:12 p.m. EDT Tuesday when they found a group of people in the water who were struggling to make their way back to shore.


Police said Mallett went underwater and lifeguards said he was not breathing when pulled out. First responders performed lifesaving measures, but Mallett was later pronounced deceased at the Destin Emergency Room.

"We send our heartfelt sympathies to his family, friends, and loved ones in his tragic passing," the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office said.

Mallett, a Batesville, Ark., native, first became an elite national prospect out of Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. He then went to Michigan and transferred to Arkansas, where he starred in 2009 and 2010.

The New England Patriots picked Mallett in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft. He later spent time with the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens.


Mallett completed 55.1% of his throws for 1,835 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 21 career appearances in the NFL.

He was serving as head coach of the White Hall High School football team in White Hall, Ark., at the time of his death.

"It is with great sadness that we share the loss of coach Ryan Mallett," the White Hall school district announced. "Coach Mallett was a beloved coach and educator. We ask that you remember his family, team, students, fellow coaches, and the White Hall school district staff in your prayers."

Michigan, where Mallett started his collegiate career, Arkansas, the Patriots, Texans and Ravens also offered condolences upon learning of Mallett's death.

"We are shocked and saddened by the passing of Ryan Mallett," Arkansas said. "He was a Razorback legend with larger-than-life talent and a personality to match. He led our program to some of our best moments in recent memory.

"He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his mother Debbie and his extended family."

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