One of the knocks against then-Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was that his self-perception was more inflated than the Goodyear blimp. Even after what should have been a humbling NFL draft fall to the 48th pick, Clausen had to let the Panthers know, "I just want to tell you that you guys made the best pick in the draft."
Arkansas Razorbacks quarterback Ryan Mallett is also a confident man, but appears to temper his confidence with wisdom better than his counterpart at the Carolina Panthers.
While Jimmy Clausen can claim the ignonymous honor of being one of the most surprising NFL draft-drops in history, Ryan Mallett appears to have made a very wise decision of returning to college for another year and is gearing up to take back the reigns of the SEC's highest scoring offense—an offense that returns nearly ALL of its key playmakers.
Mallett's appearance on ESPN's College Football Live yesterday demonstrated that he expects great things in Bobby Petrino's third year.
When John Saunders asked Mallett to comment on the Heisman trophy, Mallett replied, "That would be a great honor, but the trophy I'm more worried about is that crystal ball you get to hold up at the end of the year."
The Canadian John Saunders, perhaps not understanding the hallowed nature of Arkansas Football to Razorback fans, chuckled unbelievingly, and made a flippant comment about standing next to Mallett if Arkansas won the BCS.
Arkansas fans have been waiting a long time for the chance to feel confident about a season, and Ryan Mallett is providing a personality and a voice for a state that has almost always been an underdog.
That said, Arkansas fans understand that Ryan Mallett's statement was not about being cocky, but about having the right priorities. That's a lesson that Jimmy Clausen would do well to learn.