The bench press competition, admittedly not the truest test of strength, has become a tradition at St. Joseph's. But Friday, Doug Klopacz, a true physical specimen, decided to make the night extra special by making a commitment to Penn State. Klopacz (6-feet-3 and 260-pounds) verbally committed to PSU assistant coach Dick Anderson via phone shortly before the scheduled 7 p.m. start time of the bench press competition.
"I had talked to my dad earlier this week and told him that I was pretty happy about heading to Penn State. And we kept talking and eventually I told my dad I was ready to make my decision," stated Klopacz (seen in image below with his father).
Klopacz, the top returning offensive lineman for the St. Joseph's Green Knights (Montvale, N.J.), received a Penn State offer during the last week of July. Though admittedly excited he decided to hold off on making a decision and take his time evaluating his options.
However, less than a month later, with the initial excitement not worn off, Klopacz decided it was time to put an end to his recruitment.
"I would be honored to come play football at Penn State," stated Klopacz. "I've been up there three times for camp and I absolutely loved it."
Klopacz remained impressed with everything from the facilities to the layout and organization of the campus.
With preparation for his senior campaign now underway, Klopacz will not have time to take his official trip to Penn State until after the completion of his season.
"I'll probably go sometime after December or maybe January for my official visit.
"I wasn't big into college football until about the seventh grade. And then as I was going into my freshman year, one of my good friends, Ryan Lindsey, was asking me to go visit there for their camp. I remember going on the field for the first time and remember having a feeling that I would be playing on this field someday."
Despite seeing his stock rise in an instant, Klopacz made sure that his focus for this season would be on his teammates and his squad's bid for a seventh straight state championship.
"We're looking for another great season. We're just going to take each game at a time. I really think we have all the pieces right here."
Note: After setting the St. Joseph's junior record by lifting 175-pounds for 28 repetitions last year, Klopacz won this year's bench competition by putting up 200-pounds for 25 repetitions.