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 is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.