Be careful what you wish for.
We’ve heard the story before. A skinny kid from Prosser, Wash. accepts a scholarship to play football at Boise State. The kid redshirts his freshman year. The same kid becomes a four year starter, wins a FBS record 50 games, and leads the Boise State football team to its greatest era as a sanctioned football team. Yep. Kellen Moore did it all.
In the three years since Moore last played a snap for the Broncos, fans have been on a quest to find the quarterback that will live up to the legacy of number 11. Joe Southwick and Grant Hedrick are the first two quarterbacks to attempt to live up to the legacy of Moore. When they have failed, fans have taken to the internet, demanded change, and dreamed of a better future.
The answer to the question of Moore’s statistical replacement may have very well arrived when four-star recruit Brett Rypien signed his financial aid agreement with Boise State and plans to begin school in January of 2015.
Rypien is believed to be the first four-star quarterback to commit to play football at Boise State. A pro-style quarterback standing at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Rypien threw for 4,191 yards and 56 touchdowns as a junior last year. Through five games this year, Rypien is on pace to replicate those same stats from a year ago.
For comparison sake, Kellen Moore threw for 4,330 yards and 64 touchdowns as a high school junior. Moore and Rypien had very similar stats and these are very good reasons for the Boise State fan base to get excited about the future.
Before we get too far in this mystical crystal ball, there are two words we all need to remember: Nick Patti. Yeah. Remember that guy? It wasn’t too long ago that fans and coaches alike pegged Nick Patti as the quarterback of Boise State’s future. Hype swirled around this young man from Florida and fans could not wait until he was given the reins of the Boise State offense.
Nick Patti, much like Brett Rypien now, was anointed a starter in the eyes of the fans before even stepping foot on campus. Patti was often talked about as being like Kellen Moore, except he had an added bonus of being a running quarterback (much like Grant Hedrick). Patti’s stats from his senior year of high school back up the hype. Patti passed for 2,114 yards with 23 touchdowns while running for 626 yards and seven touchdowns. By know means exceptional but pretty outstanding nonetheless.
Where did all of this excitement for Nick Patti lead to? A Bronco career in which he threw 11 passes and ended when he transferred to the University of Central Florida. The results there have so far been the same, as he has attempted 2 passes this year (completing both). Patti’s legacy at Boise State is almost non-existent and can be best described as the quarterback that wasn’t.
Kellen Moore was a once in a lifetime college quarterback. The Boise State program was blessed to have him. Comparisons to the great Kellen Moore are always going to happen. Perhaps as fans we should appreciate this more. We should stop looking to anoint, speculate, and hype up an incoming player before he even sets foot on campus and give thanks to a spectacular four year run with him at the helm.
Sure this is all part of the fun, but very few can live up to the expectations of replacing an all-time great. Rypien will arrive and hopefully live up to the expectations placed upon him. Instead of calling Rypien the “next Kellen Moore,” though, fans should let Brett Rypien come to school and be the “first Brett Rypien.”
Be careful what you wish for. Let Rypien take his first snaps before putting the world on his shoulders. If we’re not careful, our future quarterback may fall by the wayside and end up toiling away in Central Florida. Gone like the rest of them and so easily forgotten.