In September, San Francisco 49ers kicker David Akers tied an NFL record when he booted a 63-yard field goal against the Green Bay Packers. The lengthy attempt drew plenty of criticism on Twitter and in the broadcast booth up until the moment the ball bounced through the uprights to put three points on the board.
For Veradale (Wash.) kicker Austin Rehkow, he probably chuckled and thought, 'Only 63?'
Rehkow certainly can say that after Thursday night's game between his Central Valley High team and Shandle Park up in the Pacific Northwest. The 6-foot-3, 193-pound class of 2013 prospect nearly set a national high school record (he was one yard shy) by booting a 67-yard field goal in a 62-55 overtime win for his team to draw plenty of attention.
The kick bettered the state record, which had stood since 1929, by five yards -- no small distance when you're kicking field goals at the high school level.
A performance like that figures to put Rehkow on the radar of college coaches. According to reports, he only holds a partial scholarship offer to Eastern Washington and has only received cursory looks from other programs. Given the issues with kickers at the college level in 2012, it's a good bet that more than a few assistants will stop by and take a longer look at the big-legged kicker.
The big time kick that drew plenty of attention overshadowed the bigger news in the recruiting space, as opposing quarterback Brett Rypien set a state record in the game with 577 passing yards, breaking the old record by 61 yards. If the last name sounds familiar, it's because it is, Rypien is the nephew of former Washington Redskins' Super Bowl-winning quarterback Mark Rypien. Both members of the Rypien clan went to Shadle Park as well.
The class of 2015 recruit is already being labeled by some as one of the top quarterbacks in the area regardless of classification thanks to a strong arm and big time athletic ability. Rypien is polished as a passer for his age and already has recruiters eager to see the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder's progression. Rypien started the final four games of the season when he was a freshman and threw for 690 yards and eight touchdowns and has nearly tripled those marks over halfway through his sophomore campaign.
Both in-state schools have checked in on the record setting passer (Washington already has a commitment from a class of 2017 quarterback) and with a performance like he had on Thursday, although it was overshadowed nationally by the field goal on the other end, it's likely that the tape is being played at recruiting meetings across the West Coast fairly soon.