7 Sports Live

Apr 7

Newest Boise State football verbal gives Brett Rypien credit for commitment

During his recruitment, West Mesquite High School wide receiver Akilian Butler certainly developed a passion for Boise State.

For that reason, Butler decided to end his recruitment by calling receivers coach Junior Adams and delivering his verbal commitment to the Broncos on Monday.

"I pulled the trigger because of my relationship with coach Junior Adams," boasted an excited Butler over the phone. "It’s a real good relationship. I love him as a coach. He’s an even better person."

On top of that, Butler also recently developed an affection for the gunslinger who could be throwing him the ball one day: Brett Rypien.

"I love the quarterback that just committed - Brett - I love how he plays," Butler said with enthusiasm.

"I started watching tape on Brett after he committed. When I saw it on twitter, I immediately went to Hudl (a recruiting website) and saw his film."

"He’s an incredible quarterback," Butler continued. "I love the way he passes. I love the way he hits his targets while they’re moving."

Butler’s commitment to Boise comes site-unseen. But that doesn’t mean he is unfamiliar with that program.

"I have always been watching them - their bond and how they are close to one another," Butler explained. "What amazed me and gets me hooked on to Boise State is their culture."

That culture already includes a “big bother.”

Butler played in high school with current Boise State safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, the Broncos top recruit of the 2014 class.

"He’s a guy I look up to," Butler said. "The way Dylan was telling me (about Idaho), it feels just like home."

The “family feeling” does not stop there.

Akilian’s brother, Josh Butler, is a three-star cornerback according to Scout.com and holds an offer from Boise State, along with other high profile schools like Texas A&M, Tennessee and UCLA.

"He’s still trying to make up his mind. I can’t really say where he’s going," Akilian said about Josh. "I just don’t know yet."

"I’m encouraging him to make the decision that he needs to make. What’s best for him. But I would love to play with him in college. "

Both Akilian and Josh have plans to check out Boise in-person for the first time in the coming weeks. Akilian said they will make a trip on April 18 or in early May.

When asked if he is looking forward to the trip, Akilian’s answer was emphatic yet respectful, which pretty much sums him up.

"Yessir."

#7SportsInsider
- Butler also has an offer from Colorado and a “soft offer” from Clemson. He said the Tigers already “had another guy committed and the spot was full.”
- Butler checks in a 5-11, 180-pounds. He said he totaled up over 30-catches for over 450 yards and five touchdowns as a junior. He also runs a 4.49 40-yard time and was clocked a 21.5 seconds in the 200M at his most recent track meet.
- Butler said that he researched the success that new Boise State wide receivers coach Junior Adams had with his players at Eastern Washington. In addition, Butler added: “The first time we ever spoke, I don’t know, we just had a connection right off the bat.”

— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)

Apr 6

Boise State lands committment from heralded four-star quarteback

Boise State has received a verbal commitment from a record-setting Washington high school quarterback who wears the No. 11.

With that being said, let the comparisons begin.

Shadle Park junior Brett Rypien told KTVB sports director Jay Tust that he verbally committed to Boise State following the scrimmage the Broncos held on Saturday.

Rypien was in Boise to take part in their Junior Day festivities along with a number of other high school recruits.

"After my visit today, I knew that Boise was the destination for me and I couldn’t be more happy about by decision," Rypien said through text.

Rypien threw for 4,086 yards and 57 touchdowns as a junior last fall.

According to Scout.com, he is the ninth ranked quarterback in the entire 2015 recruiting class and the top-ranked player in the state of Washington.

He had offers from Arizona State, Colorado State, Oregon State, Mississippi State, Washington and Washington State.

During his sophomore season, Rypien set the 11-man Washington state single-game record with 577 yards passing. He then broke his own mark with 613 yards through the air against Mt. Spokane as a junior.

His eight touchdown passes in the same contest placed him next to a pretty familiar name for many in Boise: Kellen Moore.

Both Rypien and Moore, who attended Prosser High School in Prosser, WA, are tied for second with the most touchdown passes in a single-game in the history of Washington state 11-man football.

On top of that, the two coincidentally wear the same number: No. 11

Rypien said that he does it because that was the number his uncle wore. Mark Rypien went to Washington State and earned MVP honors of Super Bowl XXVI after quarterbacking the Washington Redskins to a, 37-24, victory over the Buffalo Bills.

"Personally, I thought Kellen’s number would be retired by now," Rypien said when asked it he plans to wear No. 11 at Boise State.

"But if I had the opportunity to wear it, I would."

— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)

Leon Rice to stay at Boise State

Boise State men’s basketball head coach Leon Rice is staying put.

KTVB sports director Jay Tust confirmed that Rice decided not to pursue the head coaching vacancy at Washington State, his alma mater, late Friday night.

ESPN reporter Andy Katz was the first to report the story. Katz also said that Rice accepted a pay raise and a new five-year rollover deal from Boise State.

According to the Spokesman Review, Rice interviewed at Washington State earlier this week.

The Cougars fired their previous head coach Ken Bone last week after he went just 29-61 in Pac-12 play in five seasons.

Rice has strong ties to eastern Washington. He attended Richland High School in Richland and eventually went on to graduate from Washington State in 1986.

Rice also coached at Yakima Community College for three seasons before spending the next 11 years as an assistant at Gonzaga.

Rice just completed his fourth season at Boise State. He is 77-54 since taking over and guided the program to its first ever NCAA Tournament at-larger berth in 2013.

— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)

Mar 7

Harsin rewards his players with buffet breakfast

The Boise State football team has been lifting weights and conditioning at 5:45 AM over the past few weeks.

Thursday marked their final day of workouts though and coach Harsin had a surprise for them.

"This morning we had them warmed up. They were set to go," Harsin said at his press conference on Thursday. "We were going to do some decks this morning. Decks are extremely hard. As they got to the top of the deck, there was an open buffet of breakfast waiting for them."

"It was a little bit of a surprise. That’s just a credit to the hard work they’ve put in up to this point."

Harsin added the players have been working “extremely hard” and he is happy with how winter workouts have gone.

HARSIN HANDS DOWN FIRST TWO SUSPENSIONS
Tight end Holden Huff and linebacker Andrew Pint have both been suspended for the season-opener against Ole Miss due to a violation of team rules, according to Harsin.

Huff is coming off a bit of a down season. After hauling in 17 receptions for 250 yards and four touchdowns in 2012, the junior-to-be was limit to six catches for 32 yards during an injury riddled 2013 in which he missed three games.

Pint only appeared in three game last season as a redshirt freshman.

The Broncos open up against Ole Miss in Atlanta, GA on Aug. 28.

EIGHT OTHERS WILL MISS SPRING BALL
Offense
TE - Alec Dhaenens, Tight End
> Redshirted in 2013.
RT - Rees Odhiambo, Redshirt Junior
> Started eight games at right tackle in 2013, but also missed five games due to injuries.
WR - Taylor Pope, Redshirt Sophomore
> Only appeared in one game in 2013. Had one catch for seven yards against Wyoming.
OL - Andrew Tercek, Redshirt Freshman
> Redshirted in 2013.

Defense
CB - Cameron Hartsfield, Redshirt Freshman
> Redshirted in 2013.
S - Chanceller James, Redshirt Sophomore
> Missed all of 2013 with a torn ACL.
LB - Travis Saxton, Redshirt Senior
> Suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second game of the season. He recorded four tackles.
LB - Ben Weaver, Redshirt Sophomore
> Played in 12 games and recored six starts. Led Boise State with 89 tackles in 2013.

Harsin said that most of these players will workout on the side this spring, but they will not take part in team drills.

Also, none of their injuries are considering to be “long-term.”

OTHER BRONCO BITS
- Boise State players will report for fall camp on July 31 and practice will begin on Aug. 1.
- Harsin said he is hopefully that 20,000 fans turn out for the annual spring game on April 12. That number would shatter the previous record of 17,123, set in 2012.
- The Broncos will still use a no-huddle offensive in 2014. According to Harsin, the scheme will be a “melting pot” of plays from the past and present. Harsin added that some of the terminology will remain from the old regime, but that there is still a lot that has to be installed during spring camp. In addition, Harsin said that the offense will feature movement and personnel packages as well as a little “funk.”

— Jay Tust (Follow on Twitter: @KTVBSportsGuy)

Mar 1

Vandals announce 2014 football schedule

The Idaho football team released their 2014 regular season schedule on Saturday.

The Vandals will open up in SEC country against the University of Florida on August 30, then travel to play Louisiana-Monroe in their conference opener the following Saturday.

"It will be fun for the guys to go play in the opener at Florida in the Swamp," second-year head football coach Paul Petrino said. "The second game will be a big game for us at Louisiana-Monroe. It’s our first conference game; a game that will be exiting to go down there and play."

Idaho went just 1-11 in Petrino’s first season on the job in 2013. In order to built a brighter future, Petrino says the Vandals must defend their own turf.

"You have to win at home," Petrino said. "It will be important for us to make (the Kibbie Dome) a tough place to play. We need to win our home games."

2014 Season Schedule
August 30 - at Florida (4-8, 3-5 SEC)
Sept. 6 - at Louisiana-Monroe (6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt)
Sept. 13 - vs Western Michigan (1-11, 1-7 MAC)
Sept. 20 - at Ohio University (7-6, 4-4 MAC)
Sept. 27 - vs South Alabama (6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt)
Oct. 4 - at Texas State (6-6, 2-5 Sun Belt)
Oct. 11 - at Georgia Southern (7-4, 4-4 Sun Belt)
Oct. 18 - vs New Mexico State* (2-10 Independent)
Oct. 25 - BYE
Nov. 1 - vs Arkansas State (8-5, 5-2 Sun Belt)
Nov. 8 - at San Diego State (8-5, 6-2 Mountain West)
Nov. 15 - vs Troy University (6-6, 4-3 Sun Belt)
Nov. 22 - BYE
Nov. 29 - at Appalachian State (4-8, 4-4 Southern)

* Homecoming

#7SportsInsider
The Vandals also announced their spring schedule on Saturday.

Idaho will hold their first practice on March 28 at 4:00 PM PT and wrap up camp on April 24.

In between those dates, the Vandals will hold three scrimmages.

Below is the complete schedule.

Practice Dates
March 28 - 4:00 PM PT
March 30 - 3:00 PM PT
April 2 - 4:00 PM PT
April 4 - TBA
April 5 - Scrimmage, TBA
April 7 - TBA
April 9 - TBA
April 12 - Scrimmage, TBA
April 14 - TBA
April 16 - TBA
April 18 - TBA
April 19 - Scrimmage, TBA
April 21 - TBA
April 24 - TBA