BOISE, Idaho — Thursday, April 18, 2019. 

I’m trying to pace myself on Brett Rypien draft news, but here’s some more on the former Boise State star.  Chris Trapasso of CBSSports.com has 10 sleepers who “will prove to be awesome value picks.”  Trapasso touches on something that scouts really like about Rypien: “He rarely drops his head when facing pressure, has the ability to drift away from it, and is a deft pocket passer who throws accurately to his second and third reads at any level of the field.”  Rypien also knows what his meal ticket will be, according to Trapasso: “Rypien is keenly aware of his arm-strength limitations and put many anticipation throws on film.  He's not afraid to stay aggressive downfield throughout the course of a game, and his deep-ball accuracy is arguably the best in the class.”

J.P. Scott of PatriotsWire at USA Today lists five quarterbacks New England should target in the draft.  Scott prefaces his picks with this: “Playing quarterback in Josh McDaniels’ offense is not just about talent.  Intelligence and franchise fit are huge factors as well.  All of that must be taken into consideration once the NFL Draft gets going.”  With that, you won’t be surprised that Rypien is on his list.  “The offense he ran was predicated on getting the ball out quickly—often to a running back—while mixing in some deep balls,” writes Scott.  Sounds like someone Pats fans know.  One of the other four QBs tabbed by Scott is North Carolina State’s Ryan Finley, Rypien’s former teammate.

A CAN OF WORMS IN ALBUQUERQUE?

This could be a bad precedent.  The NCAA has granted New Mexico guard Anthony Mathis an extra year of eligibility because of the lack of playing time he was given under former Lobos coach Craig Neal in 2016-17.  Mathis led UNM in scoring the past two seasons under Paul Weir, but in Neal’s final season he appeared in only 10 games and played a total of 64 minutes.  Are other players licking their chops?  The key, of course, is that Mathis played that sophomore year for a different coach.  Otherwise, Boise State’s Leon Rice could go before the NCAA and say, “Hey, I’m really sorry that I played Derrick Alston only 26 minutes in 2017-18 and only allowed him to score seven points.  My bad.  Could I get him another year?”

THE BENGALS’ NEW BOSS

Multiple sources say Point Loma Nazarene’s Ryan Looney is going to be the new head coach at Idaho State.  Looney’s Sea Lions made the NCAA Division II championship game last month, falling to Northwest Missouri State.  He was 69-28 in three years at Point Loma, including a 31-5 record this past season.  Looney replaces Bill Evans, who had only one winning campaign in his seven seasons at ISU.  Looney’s other stints include five seasons at Eastern Oregon in LaGrande from 2004-09.  He also played for the Mountaineers.  This looks like a solid hire for the Bengals.

OVERTIME DEJA VU

There are no shootouts in playoff hockey, so the Idaho Steelheads and Utah Grizzlies played deep into overtime last night.  And just like last Saturday night in Boise, the Steelheads rallied for a 3-2 victory when Kyle Schempp scored 11½ minutes into the extra frame.  Henrik Samuelsson had tied it up at 2-2 about six minutes into the third period before Schempp’s heroics.  And this week’s return of Brad McClure from the AHL paid off early with a tally seven seconds before the first period ended.  Of course, the Steelies couldn’t have done it without goalie Tomas Sholl, the same guy who gave up seven goals last Friday.  Sholl made 38 saves in 40 attempts as Idaho secured a two games-to-one lead in the ECHL Mountain Division semifinals.  Game 4 is tomorrow night on the Grizzlies’ home ice.

MERRITT BACK ON THE TEE BOX

Troy Merritt returns to the PGA Tour today at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, SC.  It’s only the second event the former Boise State star has played since surgery in January to remove a rib (he entered The Players Championship in mid-March).  Merritt has played only seven tournaments this season, four of them during the fall portion of the schedule.  He made the cut in all four last fall and at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January but has missed the past two.  Merritt also plans to play the Zurich Classic of New Orleans next week.

DISTANCE-RUNNING STARS IN THE NEWS

The cream of Boise State’s track and field crop divides itself among four prestigious Southern California meets this week: the Pacific Coast Invitational, the Mt. SAC Relays, the Bryan Clay Invitational and the Beach Invitational.  As far as the Allie Ostrander Watch goes, the Bronco star will be at the Brian Clay in Azusa, running in the 5,000-meters tonight and the 1,500 on Friday.  Boise State’s star distance runner broke Emma Bates’ school and Mountain West record in the 10,000 by almost seven seconds her last time out at the Stanford Invitational.  Also on the running front, my Race To Robie Creek people tell me that Boise’s Erik Teig, who finished 82nd out of 30,000 runners in the Boston Marathon Monday, is entered in Saturday’s grueling half-marathon.  That’s just five days of recovering time.  Teig won Robie in 2017.

This Day In Sports…April 18, 1966:

A major professional regular season sporting event is played on an artificial surface for the first time ever, as the Houston Astrodome celebrates its grand opening.  The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Houston Astros 6-3 to win the inaugural game.  It was also a milestone day for Don Sutton, as the Dodger rookie notched his first major league victory—the start of a Hall of Fame career that would see him win 324 games.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 FM KTIK. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)