Brett Rypien was on point during Boise State’s Pro Day on Tuesday. For Rypien, it wasn’t about shuttles or three-cones or broad jumps, but how he passed the eye test in front of scouts from most of the NFL’s teams. “I had some very difficult throws put in there—for a reason,” said Rypien. “I wanted to show that I can make those intermediate throws, like those tougher out-routes, the 20 to 25-yard outs, and I felt good on both of them.” He also showed off his comfort under center and his ability to deliver on roll-outs. NFL.com lists plenty of strengths in Rypien’s draft profile. Under weaknesses is this: “Small margin for error when making field side throws. Lacks arm strength to outpace ballhawks around the field.” Yesterday’s performance was Rypien’s answer.
Alexander Mattison got the main thing he wanted out of Pro Day—a much-improved time in the 40-yard dash. Mattison clocked in at 4.52 seconds, not an elite number, but much more palatable to NFL scouts than the 4.67 he ran at the NFL Combine. He certainly is chiseled right now. There was irony when he was going through running drills under the guidance of New Orleans running backs coach Joel Thomas. Yes, that Joel Thomas. The one who scored the winning two-point conversion the last time Idaho beat Boise State more than 20 years ago. Mattison said he’s had one team visit so far, with the Chicago Bears, but nothing else scheduled yet. But one representative from the Dallas Cowboys (of all teams) was seen talking to Bronco running backs coach Lee Marks. What do you think?
A tender hamstring kept Jabril Frazier from running during Pro Day, but he did put up 22 reps in the bench press. Frazier says he’ll get a chance to run in front of selected NFL scouts next week. The Bronco whose stock probably rose the most Tuesday was Durrant Miles. The defensive end logged 24 bench reps, ran the 60-yard shuttle when he didn’t have to (clocked at a solid 11.95 seconds) and worked out at linebacker when asked. Miles improved his chances at an undrafted free agent shot. Cornerback Tyler Horton’s status is a mystery. Horton has not spoken with a single NFL team. He only ran a 4.72 in the 40 yesterday, and his shuttle times were below par. Unfortunate for a guy who developed into one of Boise State’s great leaders the last four years.
TWO DIFFERENT UNIS FOR THIS YOTE
Spring football has hit the home stretch at College of Idaho, with the annual Purple & Gold Game set for Saturday afternoon at Simplot Stadium. It’s been a double-duty spring for the Coyotes’ four-year starter at left tackle, Josh Brown. The 6-7, 305-pounder from Colfax, WA, is also the top track and field thrower in the Cascade Conference. Brown is a two-time discus champion and has already qualified for the NAIA Outdoor Championships in the hammer. The Yotes return all 11 starters on offense this year, but C of I has a track meet Saturday in McMinnville, OR. What’s Brown to do?
MAYBE MUSS GOES—MAYBE HE STAYS?
Eric Musselman’s Wikipedia page was edited multiple times Tuesday. The Nevada coach was taking over at Arkansas—and then he wasn’t. Chris Murray of NevadaSportsNet.com is a pretty reliable source for all things Wolf Pack, and he reports that Musselman was not in Fayetteville Tuesday as was wide rumored. But Murray does say Musselman is a “strong candidate” to head up the Razorbacks. He’s one of the hottest commodities out there right now after taking the Pack, a nine-win team the year before he arrived, to 110 wins in four years. Musselman would basically double his salary at Arkansas. He’d also have to pay Nevada a $1 million buyout.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW
This we know: the Idaho Steelheads have home-ice advantage for the first round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs beginning next week. With their win last Friday and two losses by the Utah Grizzlies over the weekend, the Steelheads clinched at least second place in the ECHL Mountain Division. Tickets, therefore, are on sale for Games 1 and 2 of the divisional semifinals April 12-13 in CenturyLink Arena. The Steelies have made postseason play for the 22nd straight year, extending the longest active playoff streak in pro hockey and the longest active streak in North American professional sports.
FORMER HAWKS IN THE MAJORS
I’m sure glad Voice of the Yotes and former Voice of the Hawks Mike Safford Jr. does this for me (and you). Safford just did his annual update of former Boise Hawks in the big leagues and shared it with me. By his count, there are 23 Hawks alums on MLB rosters to open the season, seven of them with the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs era was by far the most productive in terms of Hawks eventually reaching the majors. There were 83 who got there in the 14 years of Chicago affiliation and 47 from the 11-year Angels era. Boise is now entering its fifth season with the Colorado Rockies, with only four former Hawks moving onto the big leagues so far.
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April 3, 1989, 30 years ago today: A year after Boise State fell to a talented young Michigan team in a tense first round NCAA Tournament matchup, the now senior-laden Wolverines win it all—nipping Seton Hall in overtime, 80-79, in the national championship game. The victory completed a dizzying three-week stretch that began with Michigan coach Bill Freider jumping ship to Arizona State. He’d be replaced by assistant Steve Fisher, who would later build a powerhouse Mountain West program at San Diego State.
(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.)