We are so close to kickoff that it’s actually almost physically painful. Only 4 days remain, and that means that today we’ll be previewing the man that makes it all happen:
#4, Brett Rypien, Senior, Quarterback
High School: Shadle Park High School, Spokane, Washington
How’d he get to The BlueTM?
Brett Rypien came to Boise State with a consensus star rating that matches his now-jersey number: 4. There’s roughly 14,000 high school football teams in the U.S., with approximately 14,000 starting quarterbacks, so it’s pretty impressive that Boise State was able to nab one that was listed as high as 8th best overall (Rivals.com) and was universally placed in the top 15.
He finished his high school career with the state of Washington’s high school career passing yards record after throwing for 13,044 yards, to go along with 134 total touchdowns. He also set the single game passing record with 613 yards, and shares the state record for single-game TDs (8) with Saint Kellen Moore. He graduated from high school a semester early and was on campus by spring of 2015.
The irony is not lost on me that this is the second Bronco player I’ve associated with this particular fictional character, and that it’s also from a movie that I’ve never seen myself. Even more ironic is that I’ve purchased the blu ray (birthday present for a nephew). Anyway, the fact is that when he’s on his game, has adequate protection, and isn’t throwing out routes, Brett WRECKS defenses. Anyone remember his second game as a starter, when he went into Charlottesville and absolutely destroyed an ACC defense? That payback massacre of New Mexico in 2016? Or basically any time in the second half of last year?
You can throw Brett into a face recognition algorithm website and it will spit out an image of some b-list celebrity, but I’m going to diverge from that a bit and go with an unconventional choice. If we look at Brett’s eyebrows and their highly raised and slightly angular nature, it’s hard for me to see similarity to anything other than the king of the late Cretaceous period.
Brett is coming off a season in which he completed 62.9% of his passes for 2,867 yards, 16 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. He also finished last year on the 2nd all-conference team. If those don’t seem like prolific stats, though, it’s because they’re not. The reason is because for the first half of last year, the Broncos offensive line was about as gelled as one packet of jello mix in a gallon of water. There was a lot of individual talent, but not a lot of cohesion at the time, and the result was Rypien getting hit. A lot. This disrupted rhythm, but much more problematic, it literally disrupted his brain function when he was forced to leave in the first half of the Washington State game last year with a concussion. To be fair to Brett, before he left the game he had completed 7 of 8 passes and had marched the team right down the field to score. But then Hercules happened. Rypien got hit so hard that I could almost feel it, and I was standing almost 40 yards away. He exited the game and not only did he not come back, even when he did get back on the field, he didn’t throw a touchdown pass until 3 weeks later at BYU. Luckily we had Montell Cozart last year, who was able to come in, primarily on redzone plays, and neutralize opposing pass rushes with his running ability. This was a dynamic that worked until the line was able to find its rhythm, and Rypien was able to ultimately put together a second half to the season that got him on that 2nd all-conference team.
In previous years, Rypien’s stat lines were more consistent and impressive.
2016: 244/394 3,646 yards, 61.99% pass completion, 24 TD, 8 INT
2015: 273/430 3,353 yards 63.5% pass completion, 20 TD, 8 INT
Yes. I literally had to create an entirely new section from the usual countdown template, just so I could list all his awards, watch lists for more awards, and various all-conference accolades.
2x Walter Camp Award Watch List (2017-18)
3x Davey O’Brien Award Watch List (2016-18)
3x Maxwell Award Watch List (2016-18)
Allstate AFCA Good Hands Team Watch List (2017)
Preseason Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year (2018)
Mountain West Freshman of the Year (2015)
2x All-Mountain West First Team (2015-16)
All-Mountain West Second Team (2017)
Mountain West Championship Offensive MVP (2017)
Poinsettia Bowl Offensive MVP (2015)
CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 Team (2017)
3x Mountain West All-Academic Team (2015-17)
2x Mountain West Scholar-Athlete Award (2016-17)
I’ve done profiles on both Jaylon Henderson and Riley Smith, and in the cases of both quarterbacks—this is the same for Chase Cord— I mentioned that it is a big problem in 2018 if anyone other than Rypien is taking the majority of snaps at quarterback. The reason being is that he is the Broncos’ undisputed best chance to win. He is now going into his fourth year as a starter, has even more coordinator continuity (Thank. Goodness.), and seems very aware of his place in Bronco lore and wants to go out with a bang. Add to that the fact that he is very capable, as the current, active, NCAA passing yards leader.
Mike Prater was talking on the radio yesterday about how he’s observed that Rypien always has a ‘hiccup’ game every season, where he struggles for no easily explicable reason. Historically, that has been true. Prater’s theory is that as long as his hiccup game doesn’t happen in an extra-important match-up that the Broncos can enjoy a highly successful season, but he still thinks it’s inevitable. I disagree. I think that the gravity of his senior season, coupled with harsh lessons learned from previous struggles will be sufficient to result in Brett’s cleanest, most dominant season yet. It will also greatly help that he’ll begin the year with a cohesive offensive line, and an established threat for a running game.
Is he on Twitter?
Yes, but don’t expect a lot of activity.
I'll be off of Twitter starting tonight until the end of season. Looking forward to a memorable fall, Bronco Nation!— Brett Rypien (@brettryp) August 4, 2016
Completely made up fact
Rypien escaped the Cougars of Washington State in his recruitment, despite strong ties to the program, and obviously the state. However, there was another incident in early 2017 that has let to his being hunted by an entirely different breed of cougar (definition 2). However, no series of precision throws will allow him to escape the onslaught that he now lives in fear of from that category of human. Thoughts and prayers for #4 please...
For reference, this was the incident: