Michigan Facing Departures

By: AP
By: AP

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Ryan Mallett's father said Wednesday the quarterback has left the Michigan football program, while wide receiver Adrian Arrington announced that he will be entering the 2008 NFL draft.
Rich Rodriguez said a day earlier he did not expect to coach Mallett, Arrington or wide receiver Mario Manningham at Michigan. Rodriguez said Arrington and Manningham would skip their senior seasons.
"Today is a very emotional day for me," Arrington said in a statement released by the school. "As much as I will miss my teammates, friends and Michigan football family, I have always dreamed about playing in the NFL.
"I believe that I am ready to take on this challenge and move on to the next level. Though I will be catching passes in another city starting next fall, I will always be a Michigan man."
Mallett might be reunited with his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
"He's on his way home," Jim Mallett told The Associated Press. "We don't know where he's going to go yet, but we need to do something quick. We're going to visit three, four or five schools."
The former Texas Class 4A offensive player of the year may end up at Tennessee, which is considering hiring former Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord and quarterbacks coach Scott Loeffler.
"If they're hired, that would be a real good possibility," Jim Mallett said. "Ryan really clicked with both coach DeBord and coach Loeffler during the last couple months of the season and during bowl practices, I've never seen Ryan throw the ball or read defenses as well as he did."
Mallett said his son also will consider transferring to Texas A&M, Arkansas and UCLA among other schools. After sitting out next season, he will have three years of eligibility.
"Several schools have called and we're still open-minded about any program that runs a pro-style offense," he said. "He's going to enroll this semester, so we've got to get moving."
Mallett played in 11 games as a freshman, filling in for Chad Henne when he was injured. He was 61-of-141 for 892 yards with seven TDs and five interceptions.
He enrolled at Michigan a year ago, leaving high school a semester early. The 6-foot-7, 252-pound quarterback threw for more than 2,500 yards and 27 scores as a senior at Texarkana High School, where he was a three-year starter.
As soon as Lloyd Carr retired and Rodriguez was hired, Mallett's days seemed to be numbered because of Rodriguez' spread offense that has featured mobile quarterbacks.
"It just wasn't a fit and yet, it was a hard decision," Jim Mallett said. "When he came home for Christmas, he told me and my wife that he really was falling in love with being at Michigan.
"Ryan wants to thank coach Carr, his staff and all the players for helping him have a great experience the past year."
Arrington caught 67 passes for 882 yards and eight touchdowns last season. The 6-3, 195-pound native of Iowa had nine receptions for 153 yards and two scores in Michigan's 41-35 Capital One Bowl victory over Florida.
"Adrian had an outstanding season at Michigan," Carr said in a statement. "He was one of our most consistent players and he capped off his career with his greatest single performance against Florida."
Manningham might be a first-round pick after catching 72 passes for 1,174 yards and 12 touchdowns and running 19 times for 119 yards and a score last season. The 6-foot, 178-pound native of Ohio had 65 receptions for 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns during his first two seasons for the Wolverines.


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