Richy Klepal was a four-star recruit who was headed to Florida State to live out his collegiate football career. But things changed.
In a game against rival Tampa Jesuit High School earlier this month, Klepal from Plant City High suffered the fifth concussion of his career.
That was alarming.
“There wasn’t really a choice or a decision,” Klepal said. “I got an MRI and it showed that I have a hemorrhage in my brain. . . My doctor was telling me, unless I want to take a risk of dying, it would be in my best interest (to quit). . . “It is something that if it ever — if I ever get a major impact again in any way, I could immediately die. Any kind of concussion or head trauma or anything, that could be it.”
. . I love football more than anything, but my mental health is a little more important.”
The offensive lineman, the No. 221-ranked player in the ESPN 300, was not sure what to do.
“It was definitely a wake-up call, he said. “To be honest, I was blessed that I went to get the MRI. The MRI was an optional thing. I just thought that since I had five (concussions), it would be a good time to get it. If I hadn’t gotten it, it could have been a month, and I could have passed my impact test and been back out there. God forbid, if something could have happened, I could have been out there laying on the field dead.”
While his football career is over, thanks to Florida State, he can still be a Seminole.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher called Plant coach Robert Weiner to let him know that Klepal still has a scholarship.
Obviously, that brought about huge relief and a sense of happiness in an otherwise disheartening situation for Klepal.
Klepal says he will meet with Seminoles coaches on Monday to discuss the logistics of the situation in Tallahassee with his family.
“I am just more than grateful,” he said.