Florida State tight end Kevin Haplea has torn his ACL and is expected to miss the 2013 season, Warchant.com has learned.
Multiple sources told Warchant that Haplea suffered the injury during optional seven-on-seven work with teammates on Monday night. Haplea's father Gene Haplea told Warchant.com that the injury occurred as Haplea tangled his feet with an opposing player.
"He tripped up on a guy, a cleat got caught with a guy who was covering him and his momentum brought him the other way," Gene Haplea said.
Haplea, who transferred from Penn State prior the 2012 season, had three catches for 15 yards and a touchdown in reserve duty for the Seminoles last fall. Haplea has not used his redshirt season and is expected to return to FSU for the 2014 season.
"It's just unfortunate, It's a timing thing," Gene Haplea said. "He felt good about this season, had a great winter, a great spring. Now he's putting on the other hat and focusing on getting it fixed and getting back into it."
Considered FSU's top run blocking tight end, Haplea was set to be No. 2 on the depth chart behind junior Nick O'Leary. With the loss of Haplea, sophomore Christo Kourtzidis is expected to slide up into Haplea's role. Kourtzidis had surgery to repair a torn labrum in April but is expected to be fully healthy for the start of fall camp in August.
The injury is yet another hurdle for Haplea, who has struggled for continuity in his college career. Between two seasons at Penn State and this spring, Haplea told Warchant.com in March that new tight ends coach Tim Brewster was his fifth different position coach in three-plus collegiate seasons.
"Haplea is a kid who has a little thump to him, he's the type of guy who I think can become a post player," Brewster said during his introductory news conference this spring. "We're looking for a post player, a guy that can dominate on the line of scrimmage."
Haplea also felt that a full year in FSU's system had made a big difference in his game.
"The time I've had to be here is really good just to be more comfortable overall," Haplea said in March.