- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
SPOKANE, Wash. -- There are moments as a sports writer when a plan comes together. And, after what transpired Thursday, I’m still having a hard time soaking in everything -- both the expected and unexpected.
The day started with a morning to drive to Spokane, Wash. I planned to talk to Notre Dame commit Danny Mattingly (Spokane, Wash./Mead) in the afternoon before watching sophomore quarterback Brett Rypien (Spokane, Wash./Shadle Park) play later that evening.
Things went well. Mattingly was open and well-spoken about his season, career and commitment to the Irish -- yes, he is still committed. Rypien, who is the nephew of former Super Bowl winner Mark Rypien, showed he has the makings of a prolific passer, finishing with 577 yards during a record-setting performance.
Then, just when it appeared Rypien had led a game-winning touchdown drive, Spokane Valley (Wash.) Central Valley senior kicker Austin Rehkow set up to kick a 67-yard field goal.
There were two seconds on the clock. Central Valley trailed by three. I watched the Bears line up for a field goal and I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. Then the ball sailed through the uprights and Central Valley went on to win, 62-55, in overtime.
It was an impressive performance, a memorable moment. Rehkow only has a partial scholarship offer from Eastern Washington. I’m guessing more offers will come his way soon.
Next week I will have HuskyNation features on both Mattingly and Rypien and, hopefully, an update on Rehkow a few days after he’s had time to process the kick.
Before that, though, it is time to tackle the mailbag.
Here is this week’s HuskyNation mailbag:
@COUGforLIFE via Twitter: What is the record?
A: This question came after Rehkow’s kick. He broke the state record, which was previously held by Kelly Imhoff, who made a 62-yard kick in 1929 for Kent (Wash.). The national record, according to the National Federation of High Schools Record Book, is held by Dirk Borgognone of Reno (Nev.), who made a 68-yard field goal in 1985.
Now, a quick google search of the longest high school field goal in history reveals a 70-yard kick in 2008, but I wasn’t able to find a news story anywhere to confirm that number.
@choidog00 via Twitter: What’s up with the rumors about [Danny] Mattingly?
A: I planned to come out and do a feature on Mattingly long before the rumors of his decommitment from Notre Dame landed on Twitter. That story will be posted early next week.
He said he was so frustrated by the report he couldn’t sleep Wednesday night. While I will cover his thoughts on that tweet in the story, I can tell you he told me he remains committed to Notre Dame.
While he has to keep the recruiting process in the back of his mind -- it is a life-changing decision -- his focus is on his senior season. He is trying to lead Mead on a deep playoff run and he doesn’t want his college future to distract from that.
@Go_DAWGS_UW via Twitter: Are the guys noticing the defense taking steps forward? [Justin] Wilcox is doing wonders, but I also think confidence is doing more.
A: Recruits are taking note of where Washington is headed on defense. UCLA commit Jermaine Kelly (Los Angeles/Salesian) and USC commit Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) both commented on the direction of the defense after their official visits for the Stanford game.
Now, if you’re talking about the players on the team, I think they see the progress, too. There is definitely more confidence and consistency on defense.
A: The only way I see Miles taking the field this year is if something happens to Price. I think Price figured some things out against USC, so I see him playing well this weekend.
I can’t see a scenario where Washington’s coaching staff would bench Price in favor of a true freshman. That’s no knock on Miles, but Price is this program’s quarterback and that’s not going to change.