The map pointed him south. Instead, he hung a right at St. Louis. Several hours later, Ryan Mallett called his father:
“Do you know where I am?”
Somewhere on the road, Jim Mallett figured, headed home from Ann Arbor.
“I’m sitting here in Fayetteville,” Ryan Mallett said, “looking down at the football field. It’s an awful pretty sight.”
Jim Mallett knew what that meant. The Mallett family lives in Texarkana, Ark., five hours south of Fayetteville, Ark. But at that moment, Ryan Mallett was home.
“He was always a Razorback at heart,” Jim Mallett said.
Not long after that phone call, Ryan Mallett’s transfer from Michigan to Arkansas became official. And it’s only now, almost two years later, that college football is starting to comprehend what that move might mean.