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History suggests there's no need to ponder whether the commitments made Tuesday by OLB Mitchell Wright and OL Richy Klepal — to USF and FSU, respectively — are soft or firm.
At Plant, commitments know only one texture: concrete.
"We've had one de-commitment in eight years," Panthers coach Robert Weiner said. "I believe a man's word is his bond."
On Tuesday, those words arrived with minimal suspense inside Plant's fieldhouse.
Before an audience of relatives, teammates and no fewer than nine media outlets, Wright and Klepal each dispersed a few words of thanks before announcing their choices. Wright pulled out a Bulls hat from beneath the table at which he stood; Klepal lifted up the black Polo-style Plant shirt he was wearing to reveal an FSU shirt beneath.
Described as a "lightning-bolt playmaker" by Weiner, Wright recorded five of his 10 sacks last season in the Panthers' 31-20 victory against Miramar in the Class 8A final.
"It was kind of a more a feeling thing," Wright (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) explained about his decision to become Hillsborough County's fourth USF commitment this year.
"I felt good about the coaches there and being around the players there and talking to the players. So it's more of a feeling that you get when you actually go to the college that helps you decide."
Klepal, a Wisconsin-born only child who embraced basketball as his first love, said he pretty much settled on the 'Noles during his visit the weekend of FSU's spring game, when he got a chance to watch film with Coach Jimbo Fisher and OL coach Rick Trickett.
"And those two conversations were really what made my decision firm," said Klepal (6-5, 285), deemed a four-star recruit by Rivals. "I knew then those were the guys that I want to look up to, those are the guys I want to influence my next years of college."
A third Panther, SS Paris Bostick, was set to also announce his college choice Tuesday, but Weiner said various logistical issues prevented him from attending. "I fully anticipate that probably within the next week or so, we'll do the same thing with him," Weiner said.