Lions neg lister Brett Rypien: the next rising Canadian QB

The next Canadian quarterback could already be on the B.C. Lions neg list.

Brett Rypien, who was among the ten names released by the Lions on Tuesday, has all the traits of a pro quarterback: standing six-foot-two, 208 pounds and producing strong numbers at a premier NCAA program.

He’s also got Canadian roots.

While Brett was born in Spokane, Washington, his father Tim hails from Calgary, meaning his son is eligible for dual-citizenship. That’s the same route to national status taken by several other current CFL players, including Calgary linebacker Alex Singleton.

The Lions are aware of Rypien’s lineage – and therefore his potential as a national – but it doesn’t seem like he has begun the application process, yet.

Given recent indications from commissioner Randy Ambrosie that he’s open to changing the league’s rule that currently excludes quarterbacks from being included in a team’s seven national starters – Ambrosie met with Canadian quarterback Brandon Bridge in December about the issue – the Lions could have both a quarterback and potential national starter on their neg list.

He certainly has the genes: Rypien comes from an accomplished sporting family that includes his uncle Mark, who quarterbacked the Redskins to two Super Bowl titles and his father Tim, who was a first baseman and catcher drafted by the Blue Jays.

When Tim and Mark were young, the Rypien family moved from Calgary to Spokane, Washington. Both of them starred at Shadle Park High School and Mark went on to play quarterback for Washington State University. Tim was originally selected by the Montreal Expos, but he didn’t sign and went back in the draft and Toronto grabbed him in the second round in 1984. While spending three years in the Jays farm system, Tim played 142 games, recording 101 hits, seven home runs, 55 runs batted in with a .254 batting average.

Mark was selected in the sixth round by Washington in the 1986 NFL draft. After developing for two seasons, Mark took over the starting quarterback job in 1988. He was selected to two Pro Bowls and threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns in Super Bowl XXVI to lead the Redskins to victory and earn Super Bowl MVP, the second of his two NFL championships.

Brett Rypien kept the tradition of his father and uncle going by playing football and baseball at Shadle Park. Washington State offered the next generation Rypien a football scholarship during his sophomore year. Rypien finished with state records for career passing yards (13,044), single season passing yards (4,552) and single-season touchdowns (50). Once Rypien committed to football other Pac 12 schools came calling, the four-star recruit garnered offers from Washington, Oregon State, Arizona State, Oregon State and Boise State in the Mountain West Conference.

It came down to Boise State and Washington State, where uncle Mark played, and Brett chose Boise State, earning the starting job as a freshman. He’s been the No. 1 quarterback for the Broncos since that first season, going 30-10 and throwing for 9,876 yards and 60 touchdowns.

Brett is entering his senior season at Boise State in 2018 and should likely garner some NFL interest in the 2019 NFL Draft. But if he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of his uncle Mark, the CFL could get a potential star Canadian quarterback.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
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Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (790 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

27 Comments on Lions neg lister Brett Rypien: the next rising Canadian QB

  1. If Brett Rypien were to start the process to get dual citizenship, would he not have to go into the draft and the Lions would lose his neg list rights? I thought Singleton was on the Redblacks neg list before discovering he could become a national

    • What’s the point? QBs don’t count against the ratio.
      There is no reason for him to have Canadian citizenship.
      All he has to do is come to camp and try to win a position. He’s not going to be awarded a position because he’s Canadian.

  2. Mark Rypien apparently promised his father that when his NFL playing days were over that he would come up to the CFL for a season or two – we are still waiting. We might wait just as long for his nephew to be on a CFL roster.

  3. This is a great article about another potential Canadian QB. However, my question is how was BC able to put Mr. Rypien on their neg list when he has yet to graduate from university. Shouldn’t he have went first through the CFL draft ?

    • The Canadian draft probably doesn’t come into play since Canadian QBs don’t count against the ratio.
      The draft is all about trying to get players on rosters to fill Canadian position.
      If you make it in the CFL as a Canadian QB you have earned that spot, you haven’t earned it because you are Canadian.
      Canadian QBs should not count against the ratio.

      • Bleeding Green // February 21, 2018 at 2:05 pm //

        Also, This kid isn’t even a Canadian citizen yet? So for him to be attractive to any CFL team, (assuming his NFL dream fails) he would a) have to be good enough to be a CFL starter – like a Bo Levi or b) get his Canadian citizenship and the ratio rule changed. Weird story. I don’t get it. I thought he was Canadian until I read the article.

      • Read the story!!!

  4. Edward Leslie // February 21, 2018 at 3:12 pm //

    Joe, Canadian quarterbacks DO have to enter the draft. Brandon Bridge got drafted by Montreal, as did Andrew Buckley by Calgary.
    Under the new citizenship rules, if either of your parents were born in Canada, you qualify as a Canadian citizen.
    The issue here is that Rypien hasn’t done the paperwork yet. As soon as he does, he’d be eligible for the draft.
    The reason that it matters is that the Quarterback position should soon count as one of the seven National starters and may also count as one of the 21 National roster positions… and why exactly shouldn’t it? It’s long overdue that they made that change.

    • But there is no incentive to become a Canadian citizen.
      As a Canadian QB he wouldn’t count against the ratio. They aren’t going to change the ratio rules just because Bridge is the backup in Sask.
      There is no reason to change the ratio rules, QBs are the most important player on the field and you need that position to remain as the “best man for the job”

      If anything the CFL should be looking at “reducing” the Canadian ratio.

      • disagree. many canadian QB’s have been left behind while american QB’s get the benefit of the doubt. Change the rule so a Canuck QB counts and watch how many Canadian QB’s rise up.

  5. Edward Leslie // February 21, 2018 at 3:18 pm //

    Mark, I read that when Bruce McNall bought the Argos, back in the 90s, he wanted to make a big splash. He signed college star, and Heisman trophy runner up, Raghib “Rocket” Ismail. But before he did that, he attempted to sign a big name NFL Quarterback. His first attempt was Joe Montana and his second attempt was Canadian born Mark Rypien. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to come to terms with Mark Rypien, or CFL fans would’ve seen a star Canadian Quarterback many years before Brandon Bridge.

    • But Rypien and Bridge were never Canadian college players. Both pretty good NCAA players.
      Are they truly Canadian football players if they are trained and coached in the US?

      • Green&Gold // February 22, 2018 at 9:17 pm //

        Same as Jon Cornish

      • Footballnut // February 25, 2018 at 10:59 am //

        Of course they are ! They got full rides out of high school due to their skills and pathetic funding in sport by CIS schools… they went to play against the best don’t penalize them for that ! They’re still Canadian ! If he is t than I guess many cndn players are not as well since they also went the better (NCAA) route

    • He was probably better off keeping Matt Dunigan anyways.

  6. If they include QBs as national they should drop the onfield rato to 6. Teams must dress 44% nationals. This is roughly equivalent to the MLS which allows 8 out of 20 on the active roster to be non CanAm-intl (Brazilians etal). The difference is the intl slots are tradeable assets. So TFC has 4 but Atlanta has 12. I think the CFL should do this as well.

    • You might have a point.
      If a team names a Canadian QB as their starter then they would be allowed to have 2 extra Imports.
      Let’s face it, it will rarely happen.

      • It would start to happen more often because players don’t want to play QB because there is no future past junior or college.

  7. Edward Leslie // February 21, 2018 at 5:20 pm //

    Joe, saying that Brandon Bridge isn’t truly Canadian because he went to N.C.A.A. schools is asinine.
    By that logic, Mike Modano and Patrick Kane should be considered Canadian hockey players because they played junior hockey in Prince Albert and London respectively!

  8. Edward Leslie // February 21, 2018 at 5:30 pm //

    As Canada’s population continues to grow, inching upwards towards 40 million, and we continue to do better at football in tournaments versus the U.S., like the recent u-18 series, we should LOWER the ratio in the CFL?? And if the quarterbacks count in the ratio, the ratio should go DOWN to six??
    I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the logic of that at all. It’s the CANADIAN Football League and most fans don’t want to just see a bunch of American mercenary players taking up most of the jobs.
    What with the recent controversial decisions by Victor Butler and James Wilder Jr. to bail on the CFL, I think it might be a good idea to actually put more emphasis on the CANADIAN aspect by increasing the ratio to 25 per team, and 10 starters.

  9. Brandon Bridge is a gamer and should cause the league to rethink the ratio rule to include starting canadians. I think Brad Sinopoli could have been a starter if given the same opportunity given to American QB’s that are 3rd or 4th on the depth chart. They hang around for 3 or 4 years and when they finally see the field, more often than not, they flame out. Change the rule! What will it hurt MR. Commish?

  10. The ratio is likely to be a topic during the upcoming CBA negotiations. The easiest way is to include QB’s in the ratio.

    Currently: 16 Int’s + 4 Designated Int’s + 21 Nationals + 3 QB’s.
    Proposed: 17 Int’s + 6 Designated Int’s + 21 Nationals.

    This leaves 7 National starters. Another option would be to require a minimum of 3 Nationals on the field at all times (preventing teams from loading 10,11 or 12 imports on the defence which can stifle offences.)

  11. Edward Leslie // February 21, 2018 at 10:56 pm //

    CFLFan1: The projected amount would basically just be the same that way- 23 Internationals/ 21 Nationals. Why not just make it equal: 22 Nationals/ 22 Internationals regardless of position?
    I would increase the National starters to 10 from 7, but with the proviso that players who were designated as internationals would count as nationals if they lived in Canada year round and had attained Canadian citizenship. That seems fair.

  12. Wayne Dretzky // February 22, 2018 at 5:55 am //

    I’ll take Nathan Rourke who won an OFSAA championship. Went the JUCO route, and is now the starter at University of Ohio. Thats the REAL next rising Canadian QB.

    • Footballnut // February 25, 2018 at 11:01 am //

      Both are doing great but Rourke is definitely more Canadian trained . Has Rypien even been to Calgary lol

  13. Edward Leslie // February 26, 2018 at 6:45 am //

    Hey, every year Canada has a holiday “Victoria day” to “celebrate the memory and legacy of Queen Victoria”. Queen Victoria never once set foot in Canada! And yet NO DAY to commemorate our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. We are not amused!

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