BOISE - During his year-and-a-half on campus at Boise State, quarterback Brett Rypien has quickly built the reputation of being a film junkie - one those first-in, last-out type of players.

For that reason, it didn't come as much of a surprise on Tuesday that Rypien, who is just a sophomore, was named a team captain along with seniors Sam McCaskill, Ben Weaver and Thomas Sperbeck.

Boise State 2016 captains
Boise State 2016 captains

Rypien is the first sophomore in at least a decade to serve as a season-long captain.

Considering the honor is voted on by his peers, head coach Bryan Harsin believes the news speaks volumes about the way the signal caller's teammates view him.

"I think it says a lot. And I think Brett's worked really hard at that role of being, not always is your quarterback your best leader, but he's certainly one of them. He's embraced that role and has done a good job with it, and I think he'll continue to do that."

The last time a Boise State quarterback served as a full-time captain from the beginning of the season was Bronco great Kellen Moore in 2011.


As fall camp wrapped up last week, coaches began awarding the hardest-working walk-on players with scholarships.

Over the weekend, Eagle High grad Matt Cota became the latest local walk-on to earn a scholarship with the Broncos. A long-snapper, Cota says after balancing football, school and a full-time job over his first few years in college, he's thrilled to see his hard work pay off.

"Just to get that opportunity to come to the Blue and walk-on and I've worked so hard to get to where I'm at," Cota said. "That opportunity, the coaches trust me, words really can't describe it."

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On Tuesday, Harsin confirmed that junior college transfer Blake Whitlock was put on scholarship. Whitlock, a linebacker, enrolled at Boise State this summer after two seasons at Saddleback College in California.

According to Harsin, the Reno, Nevada native caught the attention of coaching staff early, and quickly earned an opportunity that takes most walk-ons years to accomplish.

"We know he can play," Harsin said. "He's going to do better as he gets more reps. But I think that he's proved enough to us. And that position has some need as well, because we've lost some guys there. He's ready to step in there and fill that role."

On the other side of the ball, senior wide receiver Taylor Pope was also awarded a scholarship over the weekend. Pope has just one career catch, but is known as a special teams standout, and will start on that unit for the Broncos this fall.

Boise State has one more scholarship open. Harsin says they haven't decided on how they'll use it just yet.