In case you don't know, Brett Rypien is a pretty darn good quarterback.
Last year, he came in for an injured Ryan Finley, and put up some pretty impressive numbers for a Freshman play caller. Over 3,300 yards. 20 touchdowns. 8 interceptions. The fans in Boise, who are looking for the next coming of Kellen Moore, see him as a quarterback God who can get Boise State to something Jared Zabransky, Kellen or Grant Hedrick couldn't do, and that's a chance at a National Championship.
No pressure, seriously.
So when Eliah Drinkwitz decided to take his talents to NC State, Bryan Harsin was in definite need of someone who could take Rypien to that next level. Enter Hill, who was known for making quarterbacks put up ungodly numbers at Eastern Washington. For example, Bo Levi Mitchell threw for over 4,000 yards and 33 touchdowns for the Eagles in 2011. And maybe you've heard of Vernon Adams? Before he transferred to Oregon, Adams was tearing it up in the Big Sky, throwing for 55 touchdowns and almost 5,000 yards in 2013. During his time at Eastern Washington, Adams threw for over 13,000 yards, 136 touchdowns and only 37 INT's.
Yeah, Hill is just that good.
Zak Hill is like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid. He has the intelligence and foresight to make someone with unlimited potential truly great. In no way am I saying Brett Rypien is Ralph Macchio, and in no way am I saying he will get karate kicked repeatedly by the Cobra Kai, or get his leg swept, but what am I saying he has a good mentor that only make him better.
Now I want to have a Karate Kid marathon. Minus the 3rd one, and that horrible remake with Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. That was just terrible.
Hill is in good hands. Harsin will be calling the plays, and is himself an offensive guru who played the quarterback position during his time at Boise State from 1995-2000. The other co-offensive coordinator, Scott Huff, is a guy who specializes in coaching the offensive line, and will make sure guys like Will Adams, Mario Yakoo and Travis Averill are there to protect Rypien from the certain blitz he's going to face from opposing Mountain West defenses come 2016. Hill's main goal is making Rypien the next Boise State quarterback legend who make the voters at Mountain West Media Days geniuses for voting Rypien to the Preseason All-Mountain West Team two weeks ago.
Rypien, who when he has a lot of time to throw the football, exhibits tremendous poise and precision that reminds me a lot of Ryan Dinwiddie when he was under center for the Broncos. He also showed some tremendous maturity that is very uncommon for a Freshman. There were certain times during 2015 that he probably held onto the football too long, especially in the Utah State, and Air Force games. Despite this, for a Freshman, I believe his debut performances were nothing short of extraordinary.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that he has Thomas Sperbeck as his main target. When you have a receiver that can nab over 1,400 yards and 8 touchdowns, your anxiety level goes down a little bit. Granted, Shane Williams Rhodes is no longer part of the offense, but you still got Chaz Anderson, who can get you over 500 yards receiving. Also expected to make a big impact is Cedrick Wilson, the JuCo transfer from Coffeyville Junior College in Kansas. He had over 1,000 yards and 17 touchdowns last year for Coffeyville. The addition of Wilson, along with the experience of Sperbeck and Anderson, should make life easier for Rypien, who's out to prove that his debut season was not a fluke.
After seeing his past work with Mitchell and Adams, I have no doubt that Hill can do nothing but bring Rypien's game to another level. This is a guy who has extensive knowledge of the game, is very smart, and does a thorough job of making sure his quarterbacks not only play well, but play extraordinary. I'm confident that he will do his part to help the Broncos score lots of touchdowns in 2016. He knows the pressure of playing in Boise, where if the team struggles, some fans will get impatient, much like they did when the team "only" won 9 games last year (Come on Bronco Nation, it's going to be okay). However, if the team goes undefeated, he will become truly immortal in the hearts of the blue and orange faithful.
If the offensive line do their part, and prevent Rypien from getting thrown around like a rag doll, Boise State should have no problem in returning to the Mountain West Championship Game.
The first test will be September 3rd against UL-Lafayette and that awful heat and humidity. I definitely won't be traveling to that game.
Thank the lord for air conditioning, big screen HDTV's, and pizza.
And Pat Morita. God bless his soul.