After the dust settled over Kapri Bibbs’ announcement to depart for the 2014 NFL Draft, everybody’s lives went back to normal. Except for his. Bibbs now fills his time training, working with his agent, planning to finish his college degree and saying goodbye to friends and fans.
Just after his Twitter announcement — which garnered 549 retweets and countless replies, his mother, Stacey Griffin, said Bibbs locked himself in his room, reading and replying to the outpouring of CSU fan love.
“The first person he broke the news to was the fans,” she said. “A part of him felt like they needed to know first, that’s the type of guy he is — he has that much respect for them.”
After his historic first year playing as a Ram, many of the fans are heartbroken or even outraged to see him go following his redshirt sophomore season. Though Bibbs would be the first to give credit to his teammates who shared the field with him — a bowl bid, let alone victory, would be hard to imagine without him.
While teammates milled around and congratulated each other, Bibbs greeted the throng of admirers around him, despite aching legs from his three-touchdown performance in the New Mexico Bowl.
“This was really hard for Kapri, I just want the fans to know that,” Griffin said. “He loves the atmosphere, he loves people. He had to remove himself from what he is emotionally attached to to make a career decision.”
At his position, this career move wasn’t uncommon, as running backs have a relatively short shelf-life at the collegiate level.
“It was me looking at the long term goal for my life, being healthy still and knowing any day could be the last of my career,” Bibbs said.
As for what this monumental decision means for Bibbs and his family, they are not sure. In the meantime, Bibbs is back in Fort Collins, making time for daily workouts with his trainer. Griffin says Bibbs also plans on earning his degree from Colorado State. Whether online, or at some point in the future, Bibbs has set his mind on a college diploma with Colorado State scripted on the front.
“If you want something in life, a dream you need to become a reality, nothing is going to be easy,” Bibbs said. “People get messed up because they pursue those dreams and then when something gets hard, they just stop. That’s how you end up taking the low road.”
That was never an option for Bibbs, and he does not want it to be an option for any high schoolers who share his dream. Bibbs has been going around to different schools, encouraging athletes to chase their dreams, not matter how hard it gets. He has even decided to mentor some of them.
The CSU community will miss that part of Bibbs, as much as his on-field production. He wants the fans to know he will miss them just as much.
“That was one of the hardest things, I really love playing at CSU,” Bibbs says. “All the fans, I love all the love that they gave to me before I was even a Ram, I just want to tell them thank you for the support, I love them, and I’ll be a Ram for life.”
Football Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.