Draft Zone Spotlight: Doug Rippy, LB, University of Colorado
Doug Rippy has had a rough couple years off the football field, but it has never once took his focus off of the game he loves. After losing his best friend in a drive by, to recovering from a knee surgery, the Mike linebacker never once let it get to him on the football field. He still finished the season with 35 tackles, and 3.5 for loss. He was presented with the Clancy A. Herbst Jr. Student-Athlete Achievement Award at the school’s annual Academic Recognition banquet in April, as the honor is presented to athletes who overcome personal, academic or emotional difficulties to succeed both academically and athletically.
How many teams were recruiting you coming out of high school and how did you make your decision?
There were about 15 schools recruiting me throughout the process. I was originally committed to Nebraska before the coaching change. Then I ended up pledging to the University of Colorado. My decision was made because I felt comfortable with Coach Hagan (currently the Recruiting coordinator). He made sure I had everything done so that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
Who was your favorite NFL team growing up, and did you have a player you rooted for?
My favorite team always been the Eagles growing up because I was born in Philadelphia, but I have so many players I rooted for especially the great Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis. I was a huge fan of Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb also.
At your position, how do you break down film, please inform our readers what you look for when breaking down film?
When I break down film I look at formations, down and distance, and the personnel that’s in the game. You can really see what plays they run out of personnel’s and formations. Then reading the Offensive lineman and how they were aligned and how they come off on run blocks and pass blocks. You can see if a offensive lineman have a balance stance or a heavy lean. Then you have to look at all the motions and shifts going on because a lot of teams tries to misguide you into what they want to accomplish. There are so many different situations that you can see, but down and distance is definitely the most important thing. If a team has a game plan for a defensive scheme we run. I watch film that another opponent who run the same scheme as us. It seems to help me realize what’s going to happen.
Do you consider yourself a quiet leader or an outspoken role model?
I’m in between a quiet leader and a outspoken role model. I like to show people how to do things. Especially when I was sideline for about 9 months after injury it helped me become a more outspoken leader because I am so emotional about the game. I am passionate about it so whenever I feel like something needs to be said it would be said. I don’t have any regrets in life so I can’t tell you one that I could erase.
Do you have any hobbies, if so tell the world what it is?
Well my favorite hobbies is just relaxing with my friends and playing video games. I like to go to the beach, I don’t do much besides that pretty boring. I enjoy it because I work hard all week so whenever I get time to find something else other then football. I just get into my hobbies.
Who was the toughest player you have ever played against?
Toughest player I played against by far had to be Andrew Luck he is not only a competitive guy but also a very intelligent player and a student of a game.
What is the best accolade/award you have ever received from playing football?
I was defensive MVP at my high school junior year. My first year playing football. Then my junior season at Colorado before it was cut short honorable mention PAC 12
If it was your last meal, what would you eat?
Some soul food, fried chicken, greens, baked macaroni and cheese, candy yams, potato salad, and some baked beans.
Before the game, what song might I hear on your ipod?
Young Jeezy “Put On” or French Montana “Shot Caller”
Do you have any pre game rituals?
Yes I do I always have to have a Gatorade, water, pineapples, and half snickers before a game. My roommate Jon Major and I did it all the time that’s who I got it from.
If you could pick out your biggest weakness what would it be?
My biggest weakness is leverage at times you can see I play high but that’s a problem being a tall linebacker. That’s something I have been working on.
If you could compare your play to someone in the NFL, who would it be?
I have a few that I can name Jon Beason, Patrick Willis and Ray Lewis aIl have attributes that are similar to me because I can play the run and I can cover. We had a great linebacker coach Brian Cabral who helped not only make us aggressive linebackers but also cover linebackers who made smart decisions, so whenever we had the chance to make plays we did it. We took risk aggressive risk.
What is the most tragic event in your life that has happened and how did you bounce back?
My best friend and grandmother passing my junior year. Actually I tore my ACL the following week after my grandmother funeral. So that was a tough year.
Everyone asks this question but I’m curious to know what will you buy first with your first NFL pay check?
My first pay check I don’t know. I really couldn’t tell you as of now, but I probably wouldn’t even spend it to be honest with you. I’ll just put it in the bank and let it sit there for a little until I build enough to spend.
If you could meet one person, dead or alive who would it be and why?
I really want to meet Elle Varner she has such a beautiful voice.