It’s the peak of prep for the 2017 college football season, and that means watch lists at every position. The Maxwell Football Club weighed in yesterday, and Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien is one of three Mountain West players named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award that goes to the national player of the year. Rypien is a two-time first-team All-Mountain West honoree—he led the conference and was 12th in the nation with 3,646 passing yards last year. The junior-to-be from Spokane is expected to take a leap this season, and one of the other Maxwell watch list guys tells you why that’s important. Yes, Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was named, along with San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny.
Rypien is also a nominee for the 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. That honor goes to players who are “dedicated to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others.” Rypien is a great community ambassador for the Boise State program. He’s been involved with Optimist Youth Football mentorship, the Boise Rescue Mission and Special Olympics Idaho. Rypien also finds time for Children’s Hospital visits and reading to kids at local schools.
The other Bronco on the Monday releases was junior nose tackle David Moa, who was named to the watch list of the Bednarik Award that honors the defensive player of the year. To say Moa came out of nowhere last season would be an understatement. As a sophomore he wasn’t on any watch lists, but then Moa was added mid-season to the docket for the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Polynesian Player of the Year award. After putting up 8.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles-for-loss and batting down four passes, Moa was named first-team All-Mountain West at the end of the season. His play of the year, though, was the blocked field goal in the final seconds against BYU that preserved a 28-27 Boise State victory.
If you miss the old MTV—you know, back when it was Music Television—you need to check out George Iloka’s recent music video. The former Boise State star lip-syncs to R. Kelly’s “Forever,” and he does a great job. And there’s a motive. It serves as a proposal to his girlfriend, model Abby Barcelo (she said “yes”). It’s a slick production, obviously costing a lot of money. And as starting free safety for the Cincinnati Bengals entering his sixth NFL season, Iloka has coin. To me, it’s a throwback to music videos at their peak. The highlight was Iloka playing the part of each of the three backup singers, rockin’ various wigs. Congrats to Iloka.
Official new heights and weights have been posted on the Boise State men’s basketball roster. The tall just keep getting taller. One player, former Century High standout Malek Harwell, has shot up three-quarters on an inch and is now listed at 6-5. Zach Haney, Marcus Dickinson and Alex Hobbs all added a half-inch—that mean’s Haney is now 6-11½. Chandler Hutchison, Robin Jorch, Justinian Jessup and Derrick Alston are up a quarter-inch apiece. The roster shows Hutchison up one pound to 197, but the Broncos report his body fat is down to 4.7 percent. Jessup played at a wiry 193 pounds as a true freshman last season, but he now tips the scales at 200. Most of the time you recruit size, but sometimes you just grow it.
Former Boise Hawk Justin Bour hit the fifth-most homers in the history of the Home Run Derby last night, including seven on seven consecutive swings. Miami superstar teammate Giancarlo Stanton was so excited he stuffed a donut in Bour’s mouth during his round. But Bour faced budding legend Aaron Judge to open the competition, and lost 23-22. Judge went on to win it all, blasting three 500-foot bombs. Bour? Safe to say the nation took notice of him for the first time.
Josh Harrison is the only Hawks alum in the All-Star Game tonight. The Pittsburgh veteran is one of the best utilitymen in baseball, splitting time between second base, third base and the outfield. What’s striking for Harrison in his seventh big league season is his power. He hit his 10th home run of the season Sunday in the Pirates’ 14-3 rout of the Cubs and is now just three homers away from tying his career high. Harrison’s batting .280 and has 29 RBIs. He played for the Hawks in 2008, when he hit a sizzling .351 and knocked in 25 runs in just 33 games.
When this year’s Boise Hawks are hot, they’re really hot. Last night their offense exploded on Vancouver for the second time over three straight victories as they won 14-1 at Memorial Stadium. The Hawks clubbed four home runs and now lead the Northwest League with 25 on the season, already more than they had in all of 2016. And there are still 50 games left to play. One of them is not tonight, as the Hawks have their first night off of the summer for the All-Star break. Elsewhere, former Boise State linebacker Joe Martarano is back with the Eugene Emeralds. Martarano was just 4-for-24 with one triple and two RBIs in seven games for South Bend in long-season Class A. He had batted .366 in 12 games for the Ems before being called up.
Group play is complete at the U-20 Women’s European Championships, with Spain picking up dominating wins over Poland, Sweden and Belgium. Boise State’s Marta Hermida, the 2016 Mountain West Freshman of the Year, averaged 6½ minutes per game for the Spaniards and scored just two points, those coming on a coast-to-coast layin after one of her two steals against Sweden. Spain faces Lithunania tomorrow in the Round of 16.
This Day In Sports…July 11, 2015:
Bishop Kelly grad Josh Osich becomes only the third native Boisean to record a major league victory, joining Borah High alum Stephen Fife a couple years before and Pat House, who won two games for the Houston Astros in the late 1960’s. Osich got the Giants out of a jam against Philadelphia, recording the one out he had to in the top of the sixth, and he was the pitcher of record when the Giants scored five runs in the bottom of the inning—and ended up winning 8-5. Boise High grad James Hoyt of the Houston Astros has since become the fourth native Boisean with a big league win.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)