Football career ends, but athlete's future is still on track - FOX 13 News

Football career ends, but athlete's future is still on track

Posted:
TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Plant High School football player Richy Klepal says he's always loved the game, even if he was just a bit too large to play youth football during middle school.

"Pretty much after that, I was a little bit large for TBYFL (Tampa Bay Youth Football League) so I kind of stuck to basketball throughout middle school," Klepal said.

Fast forward to today, not only is the 6-foot-4, 285-pound senior not too big to play, he's thrived, picking up a full scholarship to play ball at Florida State.

That is, until Klepal suffered a concussion playing against rival Jesuit earlier this month, his fifth since he was in 7th grade.

Thursday, he got the news no young football player wants to hear.

"If it gets re-injured or that spot gets, you know, re-hit in any way, that I could instantly die," Klepal said.

So a young promising football career was over before it really got started. One thing that wasn't lost? That full ride to Florida State. Coach Jimbo Fisher has decided to honor the offer to Klepal.

"The first thing he told me was there's no way that you're not going to have a scholarship with us. You made the commitment to us, we're going to honor the commitment to you," Klepal said.

Klepal says he will be a part of the Florida State team in some capacity once he arrives in Tallahassee. The team apparently will not give up on Klepal because he can't play anymore.

"I really can't say enough about how much I really respect the fact that they're going to honor his scholarship, but also just the way that he spoke, the sincerity and genuine care for Richy as a young man, as a human being and not just as a football player," said Plant High School Head Football Coach Robert Weiner.

And even though his time between the lines is over, it appears Richy Klepal, with a little help from FSU, will be OK -- something that his dad said he's known all along.

"His athleticism is only one of his gifts, he's a hard worker and I knew he would be all right," said Rick Klepal.

Plant High School football player Richy Klepal says he's always loved the game, even if he was just a bit too large to play youth football during middle school.

 

"Pretty much after that, I was a little bit large for TBYFL (Tampa Bay Youth Football League) so I kind stuck to basketball throughout middle school," Klepal said.

 

Fast forward to today, not only is the 6'4'', 285 pound senior not too big to play, he's thrived, picking up a full scholarship to play ball at Florida State.

 

That is, until Klepal suffered a concussion playing against rival Jesuit earlier this month, his fifth since he was in 7th grade. Thursday, he got the news no young football player wants to hear.

 

"If it gets re-injured or that spot gets, you know, re-hit in any way, that I could instantly die," Klepal said.

 

So a young promising football career was over before it really got started. One thing that wasn't lost? That full ride to Florida State.Coach Jimbo Fisher has decided to honor the offer to Klepal.

 

"The first thing he told me was there's no way that you're not going to have a scholarship with us. You made the commitment to us, we're going to honor the commitment to you," Klepal said.

 

Klepal says he will be a part of the Florida State team in some capacity once he arrives in Tallahassee. The team apparently will not give up on Klepal because he can't play anymore.

 

"I really can't say enough about how much I really respect the fact that they're going to honor his scholarship, but also just the way that he spoke, the sincerity and genuine care for Richy as a young man, as a human being and not just as a football player," said Plant High School Head Football Coach Robert Weiner.

 

And even though his time between the lines is over, it appears Richy Klepal, with a little help from FSU, will be okay -- something that his dad said he's known all along.

 

"His athleticism is only one of his gifts, he's a hard worker and I knew he would be all right," said Rick Klepal.

Plant High School football player Richy Klepal says he's always loved the game, even if he was just a bit too large to play youth football during middle school.

"Pretty much after that, I was a little bit large for TBYFL (Tampa Bay Youth Football League) so I kind stuck to basketball throughout middle school," Klepal said.

Fast forward to today, not only is the 6'4'', 285 pound senior not too big to play, he's thrived, picking up a full scholarship to play ball at Florida State.

That is, until Klepal suffered a concussion playing against rival Jesuit earlier this month, his fifth since he was in 7th grade. Thursday, he got the news no young football player wants to hear.

"If it gets re-injured or that spot gets, you know, re-hit in any way, that I could instantly die," Klepal said.

So a young promising football career was over before it really got started. One thing that wasn't lost? That full ride to Florida State.Coach Jimbo Fisher has decided to honor the offer to Klepal.

"The first thing he told me was there's no way that you're not going to have a scholarship with us. You made the commitment to us, we're going to honor the commitment to you," Klepal said.

Klepal says he will be a part of the Florida State team in some capacity once he arrives in Tallahassee. The team apparently will not give up on Klepal because he can't play anymore.

"I really can't say enough about how much I really respect the fact that they're going to honor his scholarship, but also just the way that he spoke, the sincerity and genuine care for Richy as a young man, as a human being and not just as a football player," said Plant High School Head Football Coach Robert Weiner.

And even though his time between the lines is over, it appears Richy Klepal, with a little help from FSU, will be okay -- something that his dad said he's known all along.

"His athleticism is only one of his gifts, he's a hard worker and I knew he would be all right," said Rick Klepal.

Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices