Underrated – Boise State QB Brett Rypien

Boise State quarterback
Boise State QB Brett Rypien.

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien is underrated. He always has been. When the 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior entered Boise State in 2015, he was headed right for a redshirt year after Ryan Finley was named the starter. That changed when Finley broke an ankle in the Broncos’ third game of the season. Rypien would go on to quietly become the Mountain West Conference’s Rookie of the Year. He was also named first-team All-Conference becoming the first freshman in MWC history to earn the honor.

Boise State quarterback
Boise State QB Brett Rypien.

Fast forward and Rypien enters his senior season as a three-year starter in the Broncos program. He has 9,876 career passing yards and will likely become just the second Boise State quarterback to surpass 10,000 career yards (Kellen Moore is the other). Rypien is as good as they come, which begs the question “why is he so underrated?”


Rypien was a star at Shadle Park HS in Spokane, Wash., earning Washington 3A All-State honors three times. He set numerous state records, including career passing yards with 13,044, and was the state’s Player of the Year in 2014. Recruited by numerous schools, Rypien was deemed a four-star recruit and ultimately decided on Boise State. In addition to his skills on the field, the pride of Shadle Park was a 4.0 student in the classroom and his class’s valedictorian.


If there is one thing that Brett Rypien does as well as any quarterback in the country, it is win. In three years as the starter at Boise State, Rypien is 30-10. In each of the past two seasons, he has led the Broncos to double-digit win totals. After a 2-2 start last season, Rypien led Boise State to wins in nine of the team’s final 10 games. The lone loss was a 28-17 setback to Fresno State in the regular season finale. The following week, a Rypien-led Boise State defeated the Bulldogs 17-14. The bottom line on Rypien is that he wins games.


In addition to wins, Rypien has the numbers to back up his inclusion among the nation’s best quarterbacks. There are the 9,876 career passing yards. As a freshman in 2015, Rypien threw for 3,353 yards and 20 touchdowns. Remember, he didn’t begin playing until Week 3 of his first season. His yardage numbers increased to 3,646 as a sophomore and he increased his touchdown totals as well going from 20 to 24. Rypien’s career completion percentage is 62.7. He has 60 touchdowns compared to just 22 interceptions. He has never thrown more than eight picks in a single season. For his career, Rypien’s QB rating is an impressive 146.6.


For most any quarterback at any level, it is the intangibles that set him apart from his peers. A year ago, Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin decided to try a two-quarterback system using both Rypien and graduate transfer Montell Cozart. Faced with the adversity, Rypien could have folded. Instead, he bought in and ultimately forced Harsin back to a one-quarterback system. In the final five games of last season, Rypien averaged 303.4 passing yards per game. Those five games included a Mountain West Conference championship game victory and a win over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.


Do not overlook Brett Rypien. He is one of seven returning starters on offense. The defense returns nine. Boise State is virtually everyone’s pick to win the MWC in 2018. If Rypien and the Broncos can navigate the non-conference schedule, there is a chance they will be in the national championship picture. What does it mean for Rypien? It means he will be the best quarterback in the Mountain West. He will be the best quarterback in the Group of 5 conferences. He’ll become an NFL prospect and will likely be drafted somewhere in the middle rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft. And, he’ll keep on being overlooked.