TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Plant offensive lineman Richy Klepal committed to FSU on Tuesday during a press conference at Plant High School. The ESPN 300 prospect chose the Seminoles over offers from Georgia, Miami and USC.
Klepal becomes the Seminoles’ 18th commitment in the class of 2013 and their 11th commitment in the ESPN 300. The 6-foot-5, 285-pound senior is projected to play tackle at Florida State but could end up at any position along the offensive line.
“I currently play left tackle here at Plant and that’s where I feel most comfortable at,” Klepal said. “But I understand that my versatility is one thing that sets me apart from other linemen and I want to spend time working out at every position if I can.”
Klepal, ranked No. 218 in the ESPN 300, took an unofficial visit to Florida State for its spring game in mid April and plans to return Thursday for the second day of Jimbo Fisher’s Football Camp. He also took unofficial visits to Miami, USC, South Florida, Georgia and Indiana.
“I went to a lot of programs and I really felt like Florida State just stood out as the best of everything I saw,” Klepal added. “All of the places had nice facilities but the relationships I built with Coach [Rick] Trickett and Coach [Jimbo] Fisher really separated FSU from everyone else.”
Klepal said that conversations with Fisher and watching film with Trickett made him feel like he was already part of the Seminoles program.
“Spending time watching the film with Coach Trickett and hearing him explain what he sees and what he teaches was something I really enjoyed,” Klepal said. “He’s a very animated coach; he’s very demanding and I like that.
“I’m not a player that’s afraid to be coached. I understand that he’s going to scream sometimes to get his point across but he’s a great teacher. He’s like our coaches here because they demand a lot out of us as well and we all have to be on the same page.”
Plant head coach Robert Weiner gushed when he spoke of Klepal and his future in Tallahassee.
“Richy has made major strides during his time here and every week you saw a greater commitment to the program and to making himself a better player,” Weiner said. “When I saw him there was little doubt that he could get to that level but he had to put in a lot of work to make it happen.”
Klepal was born in Madison, Wisc., and had basketball aspirations growing up. During his announcement he spoke of his father, Rick Klepal, handing him a basketball when he turned two.
When he played youth football in Tampa Bay it wasn’t until his time in high school that he thought football would be the best route for him.
“I was more of a basketball kid growing up, I was tall, not skinny or anything but I liked basketball,” Klepal said. “But once I got to Plant and got around this program I began to love football and that love has just grown each year.”
He is the third player from Plant to commit to Florida State during the last four seasons, joining running back James Wilder Jr. and offensive lineman Rhonne Sanderson.
Klepal will likely enroll in the summer of 2013 and make everything official on national signing day. He is a solid commitment and Weiner points out his program has had just one de-commitment during his eight-year tenure.
“Coach Weiner makes it very clear to us that we are to honor our commitments,” Klepal said. “He doesn’t force us to make decisions until we are ready but once a player makes his decision it’s final.”