Brett Rypien, a blue-chipper, racked up the passing yards for Boise State while Myles Gaskin, a red-chipper, was outstanding running the ball for Washington.
In his first collegiate start as a true freshman, Shadle Park grad Brett Rypien stepped in for injured quarterback Ryan Finley and led Boise State to a 52-0 smashing of Idaho State, throwing for 126 yards in the victory.
He was the lone player on The Seattle Times’ 2015 blue chip list to star at a major Division I program. The other two athletes sat out their first seasons: Washington defensive back Austin Joyner (Marysville-Pilchuck) was injured and Oregon offensive lineman Calvin Throckmorton (Newport) redshirted, although he came close to playing.
Every year, The Seattle Times releases a list of the top 100 prep football players in the state. A blue-chip player is considered the cream of the recruiting crop — an athlete who could start and star at the Division I level. A red chipper is someone who could start in a major conference like the Pac-12. And the rest of our top prospects are white chippers.
Standouts from the list last year include Rypien and three players at Washington.
O’Dea grad Myles Gaskin, a red-chipper, made a splash with the Huskies as a true freshman. He rushed for 1,302 yards and 14 touchdowns, totaling 100-plus yards in eight games (including 181 yards in UW’s bowl game).
Wenatchee offensive lineman Trey Adams played in 10 of 13 games at Washington in 2015, starting nine games. He earned his first start at left tackle in the Huskies’ victory over Utah State and was the first true freshman to start on the line since 2012. Chico McClatcher, a Federal Way grad, also got playing time as a true freshman. The UW speedster played in every game last season and finished with 153 yards rushing, 78 receiving and four total touchdowns.
Adams and McClatcher were both red-chip prospects.
Other red-chippers who got playing time were Mustafa Branch (Bellevue) at Stanford, Cameron Saffle (Skyline) at California, Fotu Leiato (Steilacoom) at Oregon and Sam McPherson (Bothell) at Eastern Washington. Branch registered 18 tackles as a linebacker, four in the Rose Bowl against Iowa.
Saffle, a defensive end, finished with 10 tackles and a sack.
Seven red-chip prospects redshirted their freshman seasons: UW offensive lineman Henry Roberts (Bellevue), UW offensive lineman Bennning Potoa’e (Lakes), UW linebacker Jusstis Warren (Lincoln), UW defensive lineman Jared Pulu (Federal Way), California quarterback Ross Bowers (Bothell), Arizona tight end Brion Anduze (Central Kitsap) and Oregon lineman Shane Lemieux (West Valley). Bellevue’s Ross Connors committed to Air Force but wasn’t on the roster this season.
Rypien helped the Broncos get to, and win, the 2015 Poinsettia Bowl, and he finished 8-3 as a starter with 3,353 yards, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Throckmorton is expected to compete for a job as a starter next season. Bowers, who led Bothell to the Class 4A state title in 2014, should be in the mix for the starting QB job at Cal.