A sophomore clearly ahead of the curve

When Brett Rypien was introduced at last night’s Bronco Athletic Association Kickoff Dinner, he received a loud ovation from the crowd. And most of the fans didn’t know he had been named to the Manning Award watch list earlier in the day. Rypien is one of 30 quarterbacks on the docket, and one of only three sophomores. The reigning Mountain West Freshman of the Year and first-team All-MW quarterback is now on four watch lists, as he adds the Manning Award to the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Two Bronco opponents are also on the Manning Award list, Washington State’s Luke Falk and Utah State’s Kent Myers. And here are snippets on those guys.

There’s info out there on Washington State’s first scrimmage of fall camp. Four Cougar quarterbacks combined to go 39-of-59 without an interception on Sunday’s session in Lewiston. The Wazzu offense gained 364 yards through the air with seven touchdowns, four of them thrown not by Falk, but by Tyler Hilinski, a redshirt freshman. Falk, the incumbent star, was 12-of-17 for 108 yards and one TD. Did you know Falk is from Logan, UT? He had one uncle who played defensive end at Utah State and another uncle who played hoops for the Aggies. The concept of lining up against Boise State with a burr in the saddle is not foreign to Falk.

The Broncos should have their own burrs to extract when they face Utah State in October. Deseret News columnist Brad Rock penned a piece over the weekend on Myers, and how the Aggies are now “his team” with six-year mainstay Chuckie Keeton gone. Myers has drifted from quarterback to wide receiver and back to QB, depending on Keeton’s health. Rock calls Myers “Mr. Always Available.” But, despite being injured much of last season, it was Keeton who started and finished the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl last December, a 23-21 loss to Akron in Albertsons Stadium. Myers played a lot in between but had trouble masking his disappointment. He’s 10-4 as a starter, including the 52-26 thumping of the Broncos last fall.

ESPN.com released its College Football Power Rankings yesterday. Boise State was not in the Top 25, and San Diego State was—at No. 25. “Houston who?” reads the caption. “The Aztecs and terrific RB Donnel Pumphrey think they are the CFP dark horse, not the Cougars.” But ESPN knows who Houston is, placing the Cougars at No. 12 with this note: “The Cougars have the talent—and every intention—to crash the CFP party this postseason. Beating OU on Sept. 3 will be a huge first step.”

Boise State has its eighth commitment of the 2017 recruiting class. Marques Evans, a 6-1, 180-pound safety from Newbury Park, CA, gave his verbal to the Broncos yesterday. “For such a long time, ever since I was a kid, I looked at Boise State as the school I wanted to go to,” Evans told BroncoCountry.com. “They have a winning tradition, a great program, and they put guys in the NFL.” Evans chose Boise State over offers from four other Mountain West schools.

The New England Patriots have a coaching staff, system, tradition and culture that could reinvigorate Shea McClellin’s NFL career. It’s happened for other players, especially at linebacker with guys like Mike Vrabel. The former Boise State star and 2012 first-round draft pick was not re-signed by the Chicago Bears last winter, and he was scooped up by the Pats to the tune of a three-year, $9.05 million contract. It’s not like McClellin is coming off a bad year. He appeared in 12 games last season and logged the fifth-most snaps of all Bears defenders while recording the second-most tackles on the team.

New England seems to understand the former Marsing Husky. In their preseason opener last Thursday, a 34-22 win over New Orleans, the Patriots moved McClellin around a lot. One count had him in on 33 of 38 first-half snaps for the Pats, during which he played as a standup linebacker, a fifth defensive lineman on the edge, and a traditional defensive end in a four-man alignment. McClellin was able to disguise a rush look and drop effectively back into pass coverage. He finished with four tackles on the night.

It was a day former Boise State All-American Jordin Andrade won’t soon forget. First, Andrade was disqualified in the first round of the men’s 400-meter hurdles yesterday at the Rio Olympics. Why? “Apparently because my heel hit the hurdle, it didn’t clear the top…dumb,” tweeted a supremely disappointed Andrade. His time would have advanced him to the semifinals were it not for the DQ. So Andrade protested the ruling. And about eight hours after the race, his disqualification was overturned, and his 49.35-second time in the race advanced him to tonight’s semifinals. Andrade is representing Cape Verde, a country consisting of an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands 350 miles off the western coast of Africa.

Former Idaho standout Angela Whyte is next up among the state’s ties to the Rio Games. Whyte, running in her third Olympics for Canada, competes today in the 100-meter hurdles. Now 36 years old, Whyte finished third in the Canadian Olympic trials with a time of 13.06 seconds. She also competed in 2004 and 2008 Summer Games, taking sixth in the 100-meter hurdles in Athens. Whyte is currently an assistant track coach at Washington State.

The Boise Hawks have pieced together a two-game winning streak for only the fifth time this season, dispatching Tri-City 5-2 last night at Memorial Stadium. Antonio Santos contributed a solid start for the Hawks, going six innings and allowing one earned run on six hits while striking out seven to even his record at 4-4. Steven Linkous capped the evening with a solo home run in the seventh inning. It was the second straight game in which a Hawk has homered—they’ve connected on only 19 round-trippers all season. There’s one more game in the series against the Dust Devils tonight before the Hawks head out on their annual Western Idaho Fair road trip.

Two Eagle golfers are competing in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and reaching match play will be a challenge for both. Graysen Huff, a sophomore at Auburn, has the best shot, tied for 86th after a one-over 71 in yesterday’s first round of stroke play. Josh Gliege, who is about to start his freshman year at Texas A&M, carded a four-over 74. The top 64 in stroke play advance to match play tomorrow. Huff and Gliege continue the run of Treasure Valley golfers on the national stage this summer. Boise amateur Scott Vermeer played the U.S. Senior Open over the weekend in Columbus, OH, after winning a sectional qualifier in Portland last month. Vermeer shot 79-78 and missed the cut.

This Day In Sports…August 16, 1965:

After five increasingly successful seasons and about to enter a sixth, the American Football League awards its first expansion franchise to Miami. The team would be named the Dolphins and would debut in 1966. Two years later, with the AFL-NFL merger already announced and interleague play set to begin in 1970, the AFL expanded again, awarding a franchise to Cincinnati. The Bengals began play in 1968.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)