When Brett Rypien received the message from his coach at Spokane (Wash.) Shadle Park High School asking him to call Washington State coach Mike Leach, the 6-foot-2, 175-pound quarterback didn’t expect to land a scholarship offer.
After all, he is only a sophomore.
But when Rypien called Leach Tuesday, that is exactly what happened. Fresh off the Cougars’ 31-28 overtime victory over Washington in the Apple Cup, the coach invited the prolific passer to join the program.
“I’m pretty shocked right now,” Rypien said. “I didn’t think it would come this early.”
After throwing for more than 3,000 yards in 2012 -- he set a set a single-game state record with 577 passing yards against Spokane Valley (Wash.) Central Valley in October -- Rypien quickly landed on the recruiting radar of Division I college coaches in the Northwest.
His uncle is former Washington State quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, so there are family ties to the program in Pullman, Wash. But Washington made an early impression when Rypien took an unofficial visit to Seattle for the Huskies' game against Utah at CenturyLink Field.
However, Washington State is the first program to offer the prospect a scholarship, and Rypien enjoyed his conversation with Leach.
“It was great,” Rypien said. “He was obviously really excited about getting that Apple Cup win. I’m still pretty shocked right now. I’m really excited. Hopefully more will start rolling in and I’ll be making some decisions here in the next few years.”
Rypien runs a wide-open offense at Shadle Park that shares some similar concepts with the Cougars’ Air Raid system, so he sees a natural fit.
“I like what they’re doing down there with that offense,” he said. “I would love to play in that offense. Either that, or a pro-style offense would fit me best.”
During last weekend’s annual matchup between the Huskies and Cougars, he sat in his uncle’s 50-yard line seats at Martin Stadium. He was ready to leave when Washington State trailed 28-10 heading into the fourth quarter. He called the Cougars' rally “ridiculous.”
“It was probably the best game I’ve ever watched,” he said.
With the numbers Rypien has posted in his short career, his Washington State offer is sure to be the first of many. He plans to take his time and enjoy the process.
“I don’t know right now,” he said. “I’m just going to see how it plays out.”