Licking Valley's Storm Klein is on the road to recovery nearly a month after being seriously injured in the state title game against Sunbury Big Walnut. Klein was tremendous in defeat, rushing for 151 yards and playing well at middle linebacker. Even Klein suffered a lacerated kidney in the first quarter, he refused to come out of the game and tried his best to lead his team to victory.
"I'm feeling a lot better, but I'm still not completely healthy," Klein said of his recovery. "I'm still not allowed to do anything physical and this will take a few months to heal. I won't be able to wrestle this year at all. The doctors told me even though I feel like I can do things physically, that I better not because I could still tear something. I'm not used to just sitting around and this is driving me nuts. I've been back to school for two weeks and I feel like nothing is wrong with me."
Klein, who committed to Ohio State this past fall, is hoping to be cleared in the near future to begin light training.
"I'm hoping to be partially cleared in about four weeks," he said. "I might be able to start running on a treadmill or just jogging lightly. I'm not used to being off from sports and I'm looking forward to be able to start training again. I just got off the phone with Coach [Luke] Fickell and we talked about how frustrating it is to come back from an injury. We talk about once a week and just talk about what's going on. We talked about the upcoming game with LSU and about my injury. Coach Fickell keeps telling me to be patient and not rush things. He was a wrestler in high school so he knows how much I wanted to wrestle this season.
As one of two commitments the Buckeyes have for 2009, Klein is already forming friendships with potential teammates at Ohio State. Youngstown Cardinal Mooney junior Johnny Simon has also been offered a scholarship by Ohio State and he and Klein became friends at the Buckeye summer camp. Klein is hoping Simon will join him at Ohio State.
"Johnny is a great guy," Klein explained. "We've got a lot in common and we just seemed to hit it off pretty well. We are both Pittsburgh Steeler fans and we talk on the phone during their games a lot. We've been talking a lot the past few weeks and we both were pretty upset about losing in our championship games. We were both hoping to win state championships this year. I watched his game from my hospital room in Canton the day after our game. He really played well. I hated seeing Cardinal Mooney lose, but Adam Homan [Coldwater linebacker] is another great guy and it was cool to see him win a state championship. Homan, Simon and I got along really well at the Ohio State camp. They're both good guys and I'm hoping both end up at Ohio State with me."
Klein, 6' 3" and 222 pounds, will be enrolling early at Ohio State following his football season at Licking Valley in 2008. Ohio State is recruiting Klein as a linebacker.
"Ohio State is recruiting me as a linebacker and at the spring game they told me to watch how James Laurinaitis plays the position," Klein stated. "It doesn't matter to me what side of the football I play on. I just want to get on the field and be a contributor. I will graduating early and enrolling at Ohio State in the spring of 2009. Hopefully, we can get back to the playoffs at Licking Valley and win it next year."