Rypien & Leach have frank talk at WSU Jr. Day

BRETT RYPIEN says he and his parents made good use of their time in Pullman this weekend. The 4-star quarterback out of Shadle Park High in Spokane had an extended conversation with Mike Leach, where they talked X's and O's along with all manner of other topics. Here's the rundown on Rypien's unofficial visit to the Palouse and where things might be heading.

"It went great," said Brett Rypien (6-2, 185). "I brought both of my parents down and had a really good day. We got to look at the new Football Ops Building and that's going to be unbelievable."

The No. 9-ranked quarterback in the nation continues to say he doesn't have a leader. It was clear in talking with him though that the prospects of playing at Washington State, and a thoroughly enjoyable hour-long talk with Mike Leach, were definitely on his mind.

"We talked mostly football stuff – their system, you know, how I'm going to fit into that, what it's going to be like when I come here. You know, that's what I love about Coach Leach. He's not going to lie to you ever, he's just going to tell you straight up how it is. He says you're going to have to earn your position. I mean, honestly I really like that in a coach," said Rypien.

What did mom and dad think of the experience at WSU?

"My parents loved it as well. They thought it was really well done, really professional… It was a really great overall day, a really good visit," said Rypien.

WSU AND UW are both well represented in Rypien's family tree – his mom went to WSU as did a brother, Uncle Chris coached for both the Cougs and Huskies, another uncle played for Huskies. And of course Uncle Mark is a Cougar legend.

"They're not really pushing me one way or the other, my whole family has been really supportive of me on my mom's side and my dad's side. They've said they are going to respect my decision wherever I go," said Rypien.

That doesn't mean they're not keenly interested. After Brett tweeted that he had a great time at WSU, Mark tweeted a reply.

@MarkRypien: "@B_Ryp2611: Had a great visit at #Wazzu today!"RT The planets are starting to align and myself and the Coug Nation welcome you!!!!

SOMETIMES A PROSPECT is reluctant to follow in the footsteps at the same college where his father, brother, uncle, etc. was a big name. So would it be a good thing or a bad thing if Brett were to follow Uncle Mark at Washington State? We asked Brett.

"That's a good thing," said Rypien. "Being well-known around the city, being a Spokane kid, growing up watching the Cougars, I wouldn't have any problem (with it). A lot of people would be saying you'd be playing under his shadow or whatever but that's the whole goal, trying to get out of his shadow and create a name for myself so it's more of a challenge."

A big part of making his own way in college will be the offense he plays in. CF.C talked with his former high school coach in this article but we wanted to get Rypien's take on that subject regarding the two in-state schools. New UW coach Chris Petersen hasn't talked in detail about the offense he'll be running but it's expected to be similar to the play-action, pro-style he ran at Boise.

"I like what they (UW) do on offense, but obviously it would be somewhat of a transition to learn that new offense, as it would be going anywhere," said Rypien. "My offense (at Shadle) is probably closest to the Air Raid. There's some different stuff, some progressional reads – what I do is mostly read defenders and in Leach's offense it's more progressional and you're looking here, then you're looking here, then you're looking here.

"It's really close to what we're running at Shadle, a lot of the concepts I run at Shadle are the same. The terminology is fairly simple, it's not a whole lot of verbiage which is nice."

Leach's quarterbacks have racked up a ton of yards, TDs and made a splash in the record books. But are there any cons to playing in the Air Raid? It used to be that college spread offenses were criticized for not being overly beneficial in preparing quarterbacks for the pros. That view has changed considerably in recent years but you'll still see it bandied about in articles. Rypien had an interesting take on the topic.

"As far as cons go, it's not an ideal system to go in the pros to. But, I feel I would almost have a better chance, a better understanding of playing at the next level because a lot of the stuff you do in Leach's offense is checking at the line and getting a real good look at the defense. You're basically in control of it, which is what an NFL quarterback does," said Rypien.

RYPIEN HAS ONE more unofficial visit to take and said a decision should come soon after that. He said he's deciding between Washington State, BSU, UW, ASU and Oregon State.

"I'm talking one more visit to Boise State April 5 and then I'm pretty sure I'll know where I'm going. Right now I really don't have a clear favorite. But these last few visits have all been extremely well done. And it's obviously going to be a really tough decision but by the end of that last visit I'll know what is right for me," said Rypien.

CLICK HERE for Rypien's junior highlights

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Rypien had a monster junior campaign, throwing for 4,086 yards and 57 touchdowns in leading Shadle Park to the Class 3A state semifinals.

  • Washington State was the first school to offer Rypien.

  • Rypien broke his own state record for passing yards in a game in 2013, with 613 hashes (and 8 TDs) against Mt. Spokane.


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