Wednesday, June 12, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 38 Kevin Haplea
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
Next up: No. 38 Kevin Haplea Position/class: Tight end/redshirt senior
Kevin Haplea had to adjust to Florida State's offense on the fly last year after transferring from Penn State.
What he's done: After starting his career at Penn State, Haplea was among a group of players who transferred in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and NCAA sanctions. He arrived at Florida State just days before the start of fall camp, and the 2012 season was largely a whirlwind. Still, when Dan Hicks went down early with a knee injury, Haplea was thrust into the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and he wound up getting regular playing time. His numbers -- three catches, 15 yards, one TD -- didn't add up to much, but the experience was invaluable.
Where he's at: After nearly a year in the program, Haplea is finally feeling comfortable with his surroundings, and that has put him in a position for a much bigger role in 2013. As the only tight end to survive spring practice unscathed, Haplea saw a sizable workload, working far more often as a receiver this spring than he had during the regular season. But it's his blocking that sets him apart. Haplea might be FSU's most accomplished blocking tight end, which makes him a valuable asset behind Nick O'Leary on the depth chart.
What's to come: Haplea's skill set will never match O'Leary's, and its unlikely that even given a year's experience and more playing time that he'd become a regular contributor in the passing game. But with the loss of fullback Lonnie Pryor, FSU figures to run more two-tight end sets and Haplea has established himself as a strong blocker with just enough ability as a receiver to make a few plays. He'll be a valuable contributor in 2013, even if he only catches a handful of balls.