High School: Plant (Tampa)
Ht/Wt: 6-4, 270
Position: Offensive Line
Analysis: If there is a better program right now in the state of Florida than Plant, someone will need to show me. Over the past six seasons, Plant has FOUR state titles and lost in the championship game once. Last December they beat heavily favored Miramar by simply be-fuddling the Patriot's on both sides of the football. This is a PHYSICAL football team and that all starts up front for the Panthers. A big part of the that dominant offensive line was Richy Klepal who manned the Right Tackle position.
Klepal is a physical player that has been coached up with great technique on the offensive line. He has great length, punch at the line of scrimmage, and fights until the whistle. By all accounts this is a dedicated football player and one that will put in the hard work to reach his ceiling. He does an exceptional job in space of locking on his man and ultimately putting him on the ground.
Klepal could project inside to offensive guard or stay at his Right Tackle position, we think that will be determined based on need down the road. He has added some good weight in the off-season, but still needs to get stronger before being a factor at the college level. Becoming more flexible and working on his pass protection are other area's that he needs to continue improving.
We were able to watch Klepal twice last season live, the first game was against Alonso and Klepal absolutely dominated at the line of scrimmage. Plant walked up and down the field in that game and Klepal was a big part of that. The second game was in the state title game against Miramar which was about as stiff of test as you will find at the high school level. The first drive of the game Plant went right at Miramar's 'strength'----the side of the field with Jermaine Grace and Tracy Howard. It was Klepal that was bulldozing defenders on their way to the end-zone. He had a big-time game and we can't think of a better place to do it than in Orlando at the big class state championship games. Simply put, he was very impressive.
There is a chance he moves to the left side as a senior and we would love to see it as it would do nothing but improves his overall skill-set.
For FSU: Florida State landed eight high school offensive linemen in the class of 2011(now seven after Jordan Prestwood tucked tail and transferred to Notre Dame). Offensive line was not a need in the 2012 class, but 1-2 high school offensive linemen were still expected in that class. FSU did not land any linemen from high school, but did land two JUCOs. While we would not call it a 'miss' because of the year before, it did put the onus on finding offensive linemen for the 2013 class.
FSU has done that as Klepal is the fourth offensive line verbal commitment in the 2013 class. It is an excellent mix of talent as well with Austin Golson a pure tackle and Ira Denson/Ryan Hoefeld being interior prospects. As stated Klepal could be the Right Tackle or slide inside to guard.
We believe that with Klepal in the fold, the 'Noles can turn their attention to national recruit Laremy Tunsil. One of the nations premier recruits, Tunsil would be the best offensive line prospect signed by FSU.......perhaps ever. As a local product from nearby Lake City, we expect FSU to be heavily involved until the end. A Tunsil-Klepal-Hoefield-Denson-Golson (going from left to right) group would be simply amazing. TSCR. Never count this staff out.
Final Thoughts: Klepal is literally going to be living the dream as FSU was his childhood favorite. We LOVE that situation as we feel that prospects are more likely to reach their ceiling in such a scenario. His versatility is also a big factor in how he fits into this class. Coming from Plant----where prospects tend to succeed----also lessens the risk. This is a great day for FSU and even if they do not land ANY more offensive line prospects, the need has been filled.