Krepps overcomes injury to help lead Colonials' defense
Despite an injury, Belle Vernon Area graduate Jon Krepps continues to contribute on the Robert Morris University football team.
A 6-foot-1-inch, 235-pound senior linebacker, Krepps moved to middle linebacker this season after playing on the outside.
In Robert Morris' season opening 19-13 home loss to Dayton, Krepps made four tackles with one solo stop, one tackle for loss and one quarterback hurry.
Krepps suffered a groin injury in practice the Thursday before the Colonials' second game of the season, a loss to nationally ranked Liberty.
"He had a very good game against Dayton and was really coming into his own," said Scott Farison, Robert Morris' fifth-year defensive coordinator who is in his 10th season as a Robert Morris assistant coach. "Then he got injured and I know he really wanted in there as quickly as possible even though he was hurting. We did not want to rush him back though because we need him healthy for the conference games and majority of the season."
Krepps also missed the Sept. 17 game, a 13-12 loss at Morgan State. The Colonials did not play on Sept. 24 and Krepps returned to the lineup for the Oct. 1 Northeast Conference opener at Monmouth.
In that game, a 23-20 Colonials' victory, he made seven total tackles which was the third highest total among all Robert Morris defensive players. Five of his seven tackles were solo stops as the Colonials earned their first victory of 2011.
The following week, Krepps made six total tackles with two tackles for combined losses of nine yards, a forced fumble and half a sack in a 45-14 home win over St. Francis.
"Obviously the bye week could not have come at a better time as far as Jon's situation was concerned," Farison said. "Because he's just tough and wants in there so badly that he would have tried to play through the pain."
Through five games Robert Morris is 2-3 overall and 2-0 in the NEC. Even though Krepps has played in just three of those five games, he is eighth on the team in tackles with 17, including nine solo stops.
Farison also pointed out that playing on the inside is Krepps' more natural position but the team has had some very good middle linebackers such as Elias Navarro who was second on the squad in tackles last season with 75.
"He's a very good player and is probably in the position he should have been in a while back," Farison said. "Jon this season has stepped into the inside role very well and is getting his feel back."
In 2010 Krepps helped Robert Morris make its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
The Colonials finished last season with an 8-3 overall record and were Northeast Conference co-champions with a 7-1 mark. Robert Morris lost to perennial power North Dakota State in the opening round and at one point won eight straight games.
Krepps appeared in 11 games last season and made 15 total tackles with nine solo stops, two tackles for losses totaling eight yards and a forced fumble. He was also a regular contributor on special teams.
He is the younger brother of Belle Vernon Area third-year head football coach and former Washington and Jefferson All-American receiver/return specialist Aaron Krepps.
"Jon's proven himself everyday and we expect big things from him as the season goes on," Farison added. "He's just such a competitor out there who works to get better every play in a practice or game."
Robert Morris played at Albany yesterday afternoon and plays host to Bryant Oct. 22 at noon.
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