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2016 Boise State unit preview: Quarterbacks

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports


QB. Probably the easiest position to forecast for the Broncos this year. Had Mr. Ryan Finley stuck around, there could have legitimately been a QB controversy. Players should not lose their position because of an injury out of their control, but you cannot just yank the spot from a dude who was a Mountain West Conference first-teamer his true freshman year. Rock and hard place.

At this point it is a battle for third. Because as it is clear Brett Rypien is the starter, Tommy Stuart already has no. 2 locked up. He's a RS Junior and the most experienced (total year wise anyway). He's a chucker who isn't afraid to make some daring moves. But he's been surpassed by Brett Rypien--by quite a bit. Anthony Upshaw may be more of a camp arm, but I could see him getting the nod before the true freshman on the chart (Camron Humphrey is also a new Bronco on the squad). Jake Constantine will undoubtedly redshirt this year, barring anything catastrophic happen. Man I hope nothing catastrophic happens.

Depth chart

Pretty cut and dry depth: Rypien, Stuart, (this is where it gets hairy) Anthony Upshaw to preserve the redshirts of the freshman Jake Constantine, Camron Humphrey.

Unrealistic prediction

Brett Rypien gets a trophy named after him this year.


The quarterback position at BSU over the last few years has been interesting. Really, with the departure of Kellen, it's been a bit influx. We seem to have someone leave or get significantly injured each season. This season we lost Ryan Finley, who by all account would have been, at minimum, a solid backup to Rypien, and at maximum given him a solid run for the money at starting this season.

With Ryan following Coach Drink to NC State, Rypien is definitely the starter. I feel like we can all be honest here; it was Ryp's job to lose if Finley were to stick around. Since he didn't, there isn't a shadow of a doubt about it. So who is behind him?

Stuart is the logical backup at this point for a couple of reasons. One, he has the most experience of the remaining quarterbacks and, two, I imagine they want to try and retain Constantine's red shirt. With Stuart at backup and Constantine red shirting, that leaves walk-ons Cameron Humphrey and Anthony Upshaw as our fall back. I could easily see the coaches moving Garrett Collingham back to QB from WR in a pinch. I certainly hope we don't run into a pinch this season, but I digress.

Based on everything I have heard and read, Rypien will be better than he was last season. As a true freshman, to throw for over 3k yards, 20 TDs and 8 INTs, that is impressive. But for everyone to be saying he will be better than that, on top of the wide receivers we have...I gusta.

Depth chart

To recap: Rypien, Stuart, assorted walk-ons, Constantine (knock on wood).

Unreasonable prediction

Rypien with 4,500 passing yards, 30+ TDs and 5 INTs.


I started writing this unit preview before the official ULL depth chart was released, so you'll excuse my tardiness as I was furiously deleting all references to Anthony Upshaw being this year's starting QB. Fact is, I always had a sneaking suspicion that the Spokane kid might get the nod...but you can only be a legend by DARING GREATLY (and then covering up all signs of your failure). Yes, sophomore Brett Rypien is going to be the man, and frankly...I haven't been this excited to see a sophomore season on The Blue since Sean King Kellen Moore.

Rypien had the kind of unexpected turn at the helm that Grant Hedrick had in 2013...but like Hedrick, you kinda felt like maybe the back-up was better than the game-one starter. Rypien just seemed to move the offense with much more precision. He wasn't perfect...but when he was was hard to believe we were watching a true frosh at work. All signs from camp point to Rypien building on his first-season success and having a stellar year. If I could proffer two improvements that hopefully we'll see in 2016, they'd be 1) improved accuracy on the deep ball, and 2) less reliance on WR1 Thomas Sperbeck. If we can spread the field this season with our talented group of WRs...the sky is the limit and that pun was not intended but should have been.

Depth chart

Rypien, Stuart, Constantine, Humphreys, Upshaw. I lied, I think even the true frosh is likely ahead of Upshaw on the depth chart.

Unreasonable prediction

Rypien tosses more TDs than Kellen Moore did as a sophomore (39) and visits Cafe Rio more times than Kellen did as a junior (47).