Florida State Seminoles: Richy Klepal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Jimbo Fisher has spent the past two months selling his program to a class he couldn't have known would come together so well in the end. Amid chaos in the coaching staff and a bevy of last-minute shifts, Fisher was the man in the middle of the action, assuring his 2013 commitments that the program was in good hands, and their futures remained bright at Florida State.

When the dust settled, Fisher beamed.

[+] EnlargeMatthew Thomas
Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsThe Noles highlight of signing day might have been when the nation's No. 1-ranked linebacker, Matthew Thomas, announced he'd join the class.
"It think it was a great day," he said after Wednesday's final letter of intent came across the fax machine. "I'm very proud of our class. We hit a little bit of every position throughout the whole class."

This wasn't another sales pitch. This was as honest an evaluation of Florida State's take on national signing day as Fisher could muster.

No, FSU didn't hold together the entirety of the class it had assembled before six assistant coaches left for greener pastures. Yes, Fisher lost out on some key battles for recruits. Some needs were met, others fell a bit short.

But after a whirlwind six weeks in which Fisher was both assembling a staff and a recruiting class, sometimes nearly singlehandedly, the end result was about as good as he could have hoped for.

Florida State landed 22 players -- though offensive lineman Richy Klepal isn't expected to play for the team for medical reasons -- and ended the afternoon with ESPN's No. 9 overall signing class.

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Wins and losses for FSU's class of '13 

February, 6, 2013

As it is virtually every year on national signing day, there were some big hits for Florida State, and there were a few tough misses, too. Overall, Jimbo Fisher and his new-look coaching staff have to consider the Class of 2013 a big win given the immense chaos that has ensued with six assistants leaving since Dec. 1. Most key commitments held strong, and a few late arrivals turned a solid class into one that cracked the top 10 in ESPN's national rankings.

Of course, rankings aren't everything. A lot of the success or failure of a class is based on a team's needs, and on that front, there were also a few highlights and a few noticeable problems. Here's how it breaks down.

2013 snapshot: Richy Klepal 

February, 1, 2013
To gear up for signing day, and beyond, NoleNation takes a look at each Seminoles commitment in the Class of 2013.

Vitals: Offensive tackle Richy Klepal (Tampa, Fla./Plant), 6-foot-4, 285 pounds

Committed: July 17, 2012. Has already enrolled at Florida State.

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State of Florida weekend primer 

October, 5, 2012
Back for another round of notes and going into detail this week on the spotlight area of the state: Palm Beach County and the surrounding Treasure Coast area.

Palm Beach/Treasure Coast prospects rated by ESPN Scouts: 21
Palm Beach/Treasure Coast players in ESPN 300: 6
Highest-rated Palm Beach/Treasure Coast prospect: RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day)

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Video: FSU honors Klepal's scholarship 

September, 21, 2012

NoleNation's Corey Dowlar discusses Florida State honoring the scholarship of Richy Klepal, whose football career is over because of repeated concussions.

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FSU commits earn widespread honors 

August, 29, 2012
ESPN's NoleNation takes a look at some of Florida State's commitments who have garnered accolades from publications around the country.

RB Ryan Green

5-10/187 (St. Petersburg, Fla./St. Petersburg Catholic)
• Named the No. 2 player in the Tampa Bay area by the Tampa Bay Times.

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TAMPA, Fla. -- ESPN 300 offensive lineman Richy Klepal and his defending state champion teammates at Tampa's Plant High School returned to the field Friday night and won a preseason game against Boyd Anderson in front of their home fans.

In near total control throughout the game, Plant was its own worst enemy. But Klepal said that's all part of the process when it has been so long since returning to game action under the lights.

"The win as a team was great," said the four-star offensive lineman of the preseason contest. "Personally, I don't think we did everything that we needed to do, but at the end of the day, we got the job done and that's really all we could ask for. We had a little trouble snapping the ball early in the game, but we were able to get it together and took care of business.

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Every Sunday, NoleNation will take a look back at the week that was around Florida State, recapping the top stories and shedding a little light on a few that might have fallen between the cracks.

1. Jimbo Fisher Camp signees

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher relies heavily on his summer camps to evaluate recruits -- and his staff spent much of Wednesday through Friday working closely with dozens of top prospects. Offers and commitments might have seemed sparse as a result. But the Seminoles gained two commits for future classes: 2014 WR Jake McCrary (Miami/Coral Reef) and 2015 QB DeAndre Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast).

McCrary becomes the fourth commitment in the Seminoles 2014 signing class. He chose FSU over offers from Clemson, Florida, Kansas State, Marshall and USF.

Johnson said he chose Florida State because he expects playing time to be available at QB when he arrives in 2015. Johnson led First Coast to the 7A state championship game, passing for 2,912 yards and 32 touchdowns and running for 212 yards with four touchdowns.

2. Noles' 2013 class slips to No. 8

When the latest RecruitingNation rankings came out Wednesday, they reflected the decommitment of DL Maquedius Bain (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova Southeast) from Florida State, which slipped two spots to No. 8.

Bain's status had been in question before his decision Wednesday: He had maintained a list of top schools other than FSU since his commitment in November.

The top-10 class, however, holds 17 commitments led by RB Ryan Green (St. Petersburg, Fla./Saint Petersburg Catholic), No. 34 overall and No. 4 at his position. Green is one of four ESPN 150 players and 10 ESPN 300 players.

3. OL Richy Klepal commits

A day earlier, FSU had picked up a commitment from ESPN 300 OL Richy Klepal (Tampa, Fla./Plant).

Ranked No. 218 overall and No. 15 at tackle, Klepal chose Florida State over offers that included Georgia, Miami and North Carolina. In his evaluation, ESPN's Craig Haubert said of Klepal:
"The four-star is a prospect who displays good flexibility, agility and balance and runs well and can be an effective blocker in space. He will need further physical development as he can benefit from more good mass and improved strength, but he is a big man with good athletic ability."
4. Bowden proves prescient

Sunday, Penn State said it would remove the statue of the winningest coach in NCAA Division I college football, Joe Paterno,

Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, the sport's second-winningest coach, had said earlier that the statue ought to come down.

Ultimately, Penn State's president, Rod Erickson, said the statue would be placed in storage: "I believe that, were it to remain, the statue will be a recurring wound to the multitude of individuals across the nation and beyond who have been the victims of child abuse," he said in a Sunday morning statement.

5. EJ Manuel visits Elite 11

On a day when the future of dual-threat quarterbacks was in focus, FSU passer EJ Manuel was among the college-football players who shared insight with recruits at the Elite 11 finals in Redondo Beach, Calif.

Said Manuel to ESPN.com's Mitch Sherman:
"You can't be upset that you're fast," said Florida State QB EJ Manuel, a former dual-threat prospect and counselor this week to the high school quarterbacks in Redondo Beach. "You're a defense's worst nightmare if you're somebody who can take off and run."

Manuel went on to say that the talent level among quarterbacks at a camp such as Elite 11 demands that each be a good passer, whether or not each can also run well with the ball: "What I think, is if you win games, you're a good quarterback."

Scouts: Klepal gives FSU options 

July, 17, 2012
Florida State brought in several offensive line prospects in their 2011 class and got some good production from those players as freshmen. Outside of dipping into the Juco's a little the Seminoles didn’t address the O-Line in their No. 2 rated 2012 class. Now as they build their 2013 class they have turned their attention back to the O-Line and with a commitment today from ESPN 300 OL Richy Klepal (Tampa, Fla./Plant) they now have commitments from four O-Line prospects including two in the ESPN 150.

Their newest verbal is a prospect who projects to offensive tackle, but offers good versatility and could be a player that the Seminoles groom at a different position or in time can be a player that offers quality depth with the tools to potentially line up at different spots along the line. The four-star is a prospect who displays good flexibility, agility and balance and runs well and can be an effective blocker in space. He will need further physical development as he can benefit from more good mass and improved strength, but he is a big man with good athletic ability.

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ESPN 300 OL Richy Klepal picks FSU

July, 17, 2012
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.

[+] EnlargeRichy Klepal
Corey Long for ESPN.comESPN 300 offensive lineman Richy Klepal (Tampa/Plant) committed to FSU on July 17 with Plant coach Robert Weiner alongside.
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.”

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