Tragic Details Emerge Following the Death of Former NFL Quarterback Ryan Mallett – Who Drowned on June 27

On Wednesday (June 28) – just one day after Ryan Mallett drowned off the shore of Gulf Shores Drive – the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office released body cam footage of a deputy rushing to the scene. The video gives viewers a look at the beach and weather conditions at the time of Mallett’s unfortunate death. 

The OCSO posted the video on their Facebook page and confirmed investigators are ‘continuing to gather information in the drowning of an Arkansas tourist,’ who has been identified as former NFL player Ryan Mallett. Investigators believe he started struggling as he swam to a sandbar 150 feet offshore.

The incident occurred around 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday (June 27) and initial reports (from outside the OCSO) suggested that poor conditions, dangerous riptides, and bad currents might’ve played a role in Mallett’s inability to swim to shore. During Wednesday’s video statement, the OCSO denied those initial reports. 

RELATED: Former NFL Quarterback, Ryan Mallett, Dies in Apparent Drowning – He Was Just 35 Years Old

“Despite widespread media misinformation, yellow beach safety flags were flying at the time and there were no indications of any ‘riptides,’” the OCSO wrote on Facebook. Sheriff Eric Aden, who shared a statement in the video, echoed that sentiment and confirmed there were no ‘red’ or ‘double red’ flags.

“The entire county, as well as Destin, were not under red flags or double red flags despite some of the misperceptions out there,” Aden said – adding there was ‘no indication of any dangerous conditions out there.’ While a yellow flag was issued at the time, they only use it as a warning to ‘swim with caution.’ 

“It just seems to be just a tragic accident and not something to do with the conditions of the surf or tides or currents,” Aden explained, while acknowledging how difficult it is to lose a tourist or resident in the area – especially to a freak accident like this. The OCSO and Destin community are saddened by the tragedy.

In a statement on Wednesday (June 28), the OCSO said Ryan Mallett wasn’t breathing when he was finally pulled out of the water. First responders began taking lifesaving measures, but they were unable to revive the former NFL quarterback – who was later pronounced dead at the Destin Emergency Room. 

A Look Back at Ryan Mallett and His NFL Career

Ryan Mallett was a star high school quarterback for Texas High School in Texarkana, TX. In three years as a starter, he threw for 7,879 yards 72 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions. He was the No. 2 ranked QB and No. 4 ranked overall player entering college and was named Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006. 

Mallett played three years of college football, one at Michigan and two at Arkansas – where he was the team’s starting QB in 2009 and 2010. He threw for 7,493 yards, 62 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions in 26 games played for Arkansas. He was projected to be a first round pick after declaring for the draft. 

Unfortunately, Mallett ended up falling in the draft and was eventually selected by the New England Patriots with the No. 74 overall (3rd round) pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He spent time with the Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans before fading out of the NFL and starting a career in coaching.

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In April 2020, Mallett was hired as an assistant coach for the Mountain Home High School football team in Mountain Home, Arkansas. Two years later, he was hired as the head coach of the White Hall High School football team – who he led to a 4-6-0 record in his first year as a head coach at any level.

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