Quarterback Brett Rypien always had the option of gaining citizenship north of the border making him a de facto Canadian.
Rypien was born in Spokane, Washington, his father Tim is a native Calgarian, meaning his son is eligible for dual-citizenship via jus sanguinis. Uncle Mark quarterbacked the Washington Redskins to two Super Bowl titles.
“My uncle and dad are Canadian, so I’ve always loved Canada. Right now I don’t have dual citizenship. I’m working on getting it,” Rypien told PostMedia’s John Kryk.
The B.C. Lions have Rypien on their negotiation list and know about his Canadian lineage and therefore his potential as a national.
Rypien has been the No. 1 quarterback for the Broncos since winning the job as a freshman in 2015, throwing for 13,578 yards – tops in Mountain West Conference history – and 90 touchdowns including 30 during his senior season with a 40-13 win-loss record.
Rypien impressed NFL and CFL scouts at the East-West Shrine Game in January. He completed 10-of-14 passes for 134 yards and one touchdown in leading the West team to victory at Tropicana Field.
Rypien displayed anticipation, accuracy, arm strength, touch and deep ball precision, which stood out a 22-yard touchdown connection. The 22-year-old met with the Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Los Angeles Chargers while in Florida. That’s a solid number of teams considering the week is packed with various commitments relating to the privilege of being selected to the Shrine Game.
Many NFL scouts have given Rypien a draftable grade, viewing the Boise State University product as a candidate to make an NFL roster as a backup quarterback with the ability to develop and potentially become a starter.
Down the line, if NFL options dried up, Rypien could take a look at the CFL and the Canadian citizenship could make him more valuable if the quarterback position is counted towards the ratio in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Rypien’s calm, confident temperament in handling being the starter under the spotlight at a prominent college program bodes well for the future. The jump to the pro level always comes with an adjustment period, but if Rypien’s showing at the Shrine Game, where NFL coaches make up the staffs for both sides, is any indication it will be a quick assimilation.
It seems Rypien will have various pro football options.