Four-star QB Brett Rypien commits to Boise State football team; defense dominates scrimmage

By Chadd Cripe
ccripe@idahostatesman.com
© 2014 Idaho Statesman

Not even a deadline from Washington could get four-star quarterback recruit Brett Rypien to change his recruiting plan.

For months, Rypien had been visiting the college football programs on his short list — Washington, Oregon State, Arizona State, Washington State … and Boise State.

“This was always going to be my last visit before I made my decision,” he said Saturday night after committing to Boise State on a visit to The Blue for junior day. “So I was getting pretty close to committing before I came on this visit.”

Rypien, Scout.com’s No. 9 quarterback prospect in the nation, held offers from each of the schools he visited, plus Mississippi State, Colorado State and Idaho, he said. He is a junior at Shadle Park High in Spokane, Wash.

Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen offered Rypien a scholarship last summer after he attended the Broncos’ high school camp. That offer followed Petersen to Washington, Rypien said, but the coaches told him and Jake Browning of California (No. 7 on Scout.com’s list) that the first to commit would get the scholarship.

Browning committed Monday.

“I wanted to play out my entire recruiting process,” Rypien said. “I stuck true to that. … I wasn’t really mad about it. It was one less option.

“I was really blown away with my Boise option. I couldn’t be happier to be a Bronco.”

Rypien was among more than 30 prospects who attended Saturday’s Boise State scrimmage. Another 50 are expected next Saturday.

Rypien (6-foot-2, 185 pounds), the nephew of former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Mark Rypien, threw 57 touchdown passes and led Shadle Park to the 3A semifinals last season. He wears No. 11 — and donned that Boise State jersey during his visit.

Kellen Moore, who wore No. 11 at Boise State as the starting quarterback from 2008 to 2011, threw a record 67 TD passes his senior year at Prosser (Wash.) High in the 2A ranks.

Rypien chose Boise State over Washington State.

“I’ve always been looking for three things in a school,” he said. “I’ve been looking for good coaches, good facilities and an atmosphere I can see myself playing in for four years and being successful in. I came to Boise today and all of those expectations were met and then some. I feel like the coaches are elite, the facilities are elite and they have the mindset where they are going to win a lot of games. And I felt like I wanted to be a part of it.”

Rypien’s dad, Tim, played pro baseball at the Triple-A level.

His uncle Mark played at Washington State and spent 11 years in the NFL. He was the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI for the Washington Redskins.

Brett originally was more into baseball, but he began playing quarterback in fifth or sixth grade and his interest swung toward the gridiron. He still plays catcher on the Shadle Park baseball team.

Rypien started four varsity football games as a freshman.

“I just felt like I had more opportunities in it,” he said of football. “It paid for my education a lot easier.”

Washington State offered him a scholarship in November of his sophomore year (2012). The Cougars, who also had the family tie on their side, lost a close recruiting battle to the Broncos.

Although Petersen left Boise State, Rypien had developed a relationship with new offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. Rypien attended a camp last summer at Stanford, where Sanford previously worked.

“Let’s just say I lost a few nights of sleep over it,” Rypien said of his decision. “I was really not sure going into this weekend. I was trying to keep an open mind and saying, ‘We’ll see how Boise goes.’ … It really just blew my mind and I was extremely impressed.”

He said there is no doubt that his recruitment is over.

“I told my parents from day one: ‘Once I commit, it’s over with. I’m not taking any more visits,’ ” he said. “My recruitment is completely shut down.”

More from Rypien:

— On Mark, who lives in Spokane: “He’s been very helpful to me throughout this entire process, on and off the field. He doesn’t really help me with so much footwork and that type of thing — how to throw — but from the mental side of the game. How to watch film — you’re studying it. … A lot of people think he’s been pressuring me to go to Washington State. Not true.”

— On the reaction he’ll get at home: “I’m not sure. A lot of the teachers and faculty at my school are Coug fans. I’m sure they’ll be very supportive.”

— On his recruiting timeline: “I wanted to be done before May at the latest, but after this visit I felt it was the right time. I never really had a date set. I was just going to do it whenever it felt comfortable. Today, it just felt like it was the right place for me.”

— He said he hasn’t decided whether he will try to graduate early and join the Broncos in January 2015 or play his senior baseball season with his friends.

Links

Spokesman-Review story on his commitment
Tacoma News Tribune feature
Seattle Times feature
Highlight video

•••

Boise State scrimmaged Saturday evening at Bronco Stadium. Here are some notes, quotes and videos. The stats are at the bottom of this file.

— The scrimmage was open to Boise State students, staff and faculty. Boise State reported that 1,500 people attended the scrimmage and 700 toured the football complex.

— The pecking order at quarterback was clear: senior Grant Hedrick with the 1s, redshirt freshman Ryan Finley with the 2s and sophomore transfer Tommy Stuart with the 2s/3s. Senior wide receiver Matt Miller said Hedrick has separated himself. “He’s picked up right where he left off the season,” Miller said. “He’s really comfortable playing that position and being that guy. He doesn’t have that big question mark of who’s going to win that job this spring, in my opinion. I think Grant has run away with it.” Coach Bryan Harsin said Finley, who had shoulder surgery last fall, has been coming on strong through spring ball. “The last few practices, he’s done well,” Harsin said. “… He’s not 100 percent. We want to get him those reps out there. At the same time, we know he’s not full strength to make some of the throws. He has done well in our practices and he’s made good decisions. Tonight, he’s got to make better decisions. But physically, he’s coming on.”

— The scrimmage began with red-zone plays. Cornerback Cleshawn Page intercepted Finley on the first possession. He ran it back for a touchdown but it was called back for an illegal block on the return. On the next play, with the first-teamers on the field, nickel safety Corey Bell intercepted Hedrick and ran that one back about 80 yards for a touchdown.

— In the other red-zone possessions, Stuart led a touchdown drive (Devan Demas 2-yard run); Finley tossed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Matt Miller, who made a diving one-handed catch; Hedrick scored on a 15-yard TD run down the right sideline; and Stuart led another TD drive (Demas 3-yard run).

— Of the 13 open-field drives in the scrimmage, only two resulted in scores. Hedrick threw a gorgeous deep ball down the sideline to Dallas Burroughs for a 48-yard gain. That led to an 11-yard TD run by Jack Fields, who split the first-team snaps with Jay Ajayi. Hedrick also connected with wide receiver Troy Ware on a 59-yard touchdown on a blown coverage.

— Senior Dan Goodale took the first-team kicker reps and made all of his attempts.

— Harsin on the offense: “There were a couple of big plays in there. Obviously we want to have more than that. And we want to be more consistent on some of the base plays, too. I thought our D-line did a good job against the run game. We were trying to emphasize some of those same runs to get a little rhythm and get some reps on them and get better at them. We’ve still got a long ways to go there.” The Broncos rushed 58 times for 82 yards, including sacks.

— Harsin on Miller and Bell showing up again: “It’s amazing how that works out, right? Those guys, you see them in practice making plays and all of a sudden they come out here in the scrimmage. It’s just confidence. It’s those guys doing that out here every single day and it shows up in the scrimmage and that’s how it should be. We need more of that. Those two guys have been standouts in practice and they’ve also been standouts in scrimmages. That will carry over hopefully in the games. We need more guys on the same page as what those guys are doing.”

— Harsin on the vanilla offense in the scrimmage: “It’s hard because the variety and the personnel (changes) and some other things, it’s just not there yet. … There’s a lot more in than what was in tonight.”

— Harsin on true freshman safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner: “He’s got ability to play the game and I think what his challenge this week was was doing his job — just do his job. Don’t try to do anything more. You’ve got good guys around you. Just do your part. He showed up tonight. He went out there playing with confidence. ‘This is all I have to do,’ rather than try to make every single play, which is what happened in the first scrimmage. If he continues with that mentality, he’s going to be all right.”

— Miller on his one-handed catch: “It was a nice catch, but a lot of it was luck. … Really, on my part, it was a bad release, bad route. Finley just threw it out there and I just kind of stuck my hand out.”

— Miller on the pass game: “We have an emphasis on being a vertical passing team. That involves us making plays down the field. Once we do that, we’re going to be really explosive.”

— Defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said he noticed too much inconsistency. “In order to be a dominant defense, you need to always be in the right gap and the right coverage. Just do your job. I always harp on with these guys, make them earn it. Don’t give them anything cheap. … We gave them some free stuff.”

•••

Here are the scrimmage stats:

Passing: Hedrick 8-11-1 153 TD, Finley 7-13-1 81 TD, Stuart 8-13-1 39.

Rushing: Demas 11-20 2 TDs, Fields 10-24 TD, Thomas 10-13, Ajayi 8-23, Stuart 8-(-3), Hedrick 6-5 TD, Finley 3-(-29), Williams-Rhodes 1-33, Team 1-(-4).

Receiving: Sperbeck 3-32, Ajayi 3-15, Dunn 3-8, Ware 2-68 TD, Burroughs 2-59, Johnson 2-14, Dean 2-12, Miller 1-25 TD, Williams-Rhodes 1-17, Roh 1-11, Demas 1-5, Hardee 1-4, Shipley 1-3.

Interceptions: Bell, Page, Sumner-Gardner


Read our coverage on your iPhone or Android phone.

Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

Tagged with:
Posted in Bronco Beat