The Toledo Blade is reporting today that Michigan's freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett will transfer to UCLA. The newspaper cited "a person close to the team" as its source.
Michigan associate athletic director Bruce Madej said no transfer paperwork has crossed his desk and as far as he knows, the 2007 Rivals No. 4 recruit, Mallett, is still enrolled at Michigan.
"He came back with us, so I just saw him yesterday," Madej said. "He was talking with the guys about seeing them next week."
Mallett told The Blade on Dec. 26 that he wanted to remain with the Wolverines.
As you know, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr coached his last game on Jan. 1 in the Wolverines' 41-35 win over Florida in the Capital One Bowl. Former West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez took over the helm on Jan. 2.
Rodriguez runs a spread offense that typically requires an elusive quarterback with a powerful arm. Mallett, at 6-foot-7, 250 pounds, has the arm, but not the shiftiness or speed required for the offense.
Rich Rod has talked to Mallett and it sounds like the new coach is keeping his QB options open and hoping for Mallett to return.
"In the spread you have the ability to adapt to your offensive skill players. A passer or a runner or both. We have done that in the past and we can do that in the future as well."
The Detroit Free Press wondered today if Mallett will stick around, and quoted Carr as saying he knew of Mallett's decision but it's up to the quarterback to make it publicly known.
The addition of Rodriguez could also mean Michigan will land Rivals No. 1 recruit, quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor, who runs a 4.4-40, is a perfect fit for the spread, and is quoted as saying he is now considering Michigan because of the Rodriguez hire.
It also helps that running back Sam McGuffie, an impressive recruit for 2008, is pushing for Pryor to join him in Ann Arbor for Rich Rod's first year.
If Pryor commits to Michigan, it would likely relegate Mallett, a sophomore next season, to the bench. Such a highly regarded talent that could play for many DI teams, Mallett will probably not like the backup roll, and thus transfer.