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Thursday, June 20, 2013
Knee injury ends Haplea's season

By David M. Hale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State tight end Kevin Haplea is expected to miss the season with a torn ACL, the school confirmed Thursday.

Haplea suffered the injury during seven-on-seven drills on Monday, according to his father, Gene, and an MRI revealed the extent of the damage. Haplea is a senior, but he can use his redshirt this season and return for 2014.

“He’s a tough guy and extremely hard worker, who will get through this and come back stronger," head coach Jimbo Fisher said in a statement. "He’s an older and experienced guy that we‘ll just have another year, which will be good for the younger guys and our program.”

Haplea transferred from Penn State last summer following NCAA sanctions that allowed all Nittany Lions players to leave without penalty. He joined Florida State just days before the start of fall camp and spent the season learning on the fly, serving as the primary backup to starter Nick O'Leary.

Haplea's role was expected to expand this season. Head coach Jimbo Fisher said he expected to use more two tight-end sets and praised Haplea's improvement in the passing game during spring practice.

"It’s unfortunate for Kevin," Fisher said. "He had a great spring and was going to be a big part of our offense this season.”

Haplea finished last season with three catches for 15 yards and one touchdown, and he has nine receptions for 75 yards and two scores in his career.

With Haplea sidelined, Florida State will likely turn to sophomore Christo Kourtzidis, who underwent shoulder surgery this spring, and incoming freshman Jeremy Kerr to back up O'Leary.