Mallett set to graduate from Arkansas

ALLSTON -- Prior to the recent draft, few backup quarterbacks in the NFL had been connected to more reports of trade talks this offseason than Ryan Mallett.

Just don't ask the easy-going third-round pick of the Patriots in 2011.

"Were [teams calling]?" Mallett said Wednesday. "I don't know anything about that. I'm a Patriot and I'll go to work every day as a Patriot."

While the Patriots' offseason program began nearly a month ago, Mallett has been shuttling back and forth between New England and Arkansas, where he has completed his degree in sociology.

"I had to take two classes [to graduate] and the teachers worked with me really well," he said. "I've been going back the past few weekends to finish up, so it's been nice."

Mallett was at Harvard University on Wednesday to help run a football clinic for disabled youth, but he will return to Arkansas this weekend for his graduation ceremonies on Saturday.

Otherwise, with the draft and trade talks seemingly in the past, Mallett is full steam ahead as the most important time for a backup quarterback -- training camp and the preseason -- creeps closer.

"You have to refine all of your tools during the offseason," Mallett said. "That's what it's for."