Boise State football coach Bryan Harsin and offensive coordinator Mike Sanford got their first in-game look at quarterback recruit Brett Rypien on Friday in Spokane, Wash.
Coaches scattered across the West on the bye weekend to check out some high school football. Harsin and Sanford watched Rypien, who signed a financial aid agreement with the school late last month.
Sanford had Rypien in camp at Stanford twice and Boise State once but hadn’t seen him in a game. Rypien generated 466 yards of total offense and five touchdowns, including 145 rushing yards, in a 43-34 loss to Ferris.
“You get to see so much more when you go see somebody play live,” he said.
Said Harsin: “The nice thing about getting a chance to watch him is you see a guy who is very competitive, who enjoys playing the quarterback position. Those two factors get us excited about Brett and having him here. You get to see (live) a guy on the sideline — they were in a tough game and he’s getting guys going and rallying the troops.”
The financial aid agreement Rypien signed is binding for the school but not for athletes. It allows the school to communicate freely with him and speak about him publicly, as if he had signed a letter of intent. (“It’s a little awkward talking about him,” Harsin said.)
Rypien plans to enroll in January. His uncles include former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien and former Idaho and Nevada head coach Chris Tormey.
“He’s been well trained,” Sanford said. “He’s got, obviously, great lineage. The guy just lives and breathes football, in addition to being a great student. I’m really excited about the chance to work with him. He has a lot of tools, intellect, great instincts. I got a chance to see that firsthand.”
Rypien’s early arrival will give him a better chance to compete for the 2015 starting job. Sanford has mixed feelings about the trend of early-arriving QBs, but likes it in this case.
“At different times I’ve had different opinions on it,” Sanford said. “Now that I have the chance to do it with a kid like Brett, who is very mature, it is a good situation. Some kids aren’t ready for it. He’s a unique kid with his maturity, how solid he is academically.
“The development in spring for the quarterback is really important. It’s an opportunity to really slow down and teach and not worry yet about that end product.”
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