Vinny Papale had a broken collarbone.
He was experiencing another kind of discomfort, too.
"When I got hurt, I was afraid I wasn't going to hear from anybody," Papale, a senior at Bishop Eustace Prep, said of his chances of earning a football scholarship.
Despite missing a large chunk of the second half of the season, Papale earned a scholarship offer from Delaware.
Papale, the son of former Eagles walk-on Vince Papale, committed to the Blue Hens last weekend. He will sign his letter of intent Feb. 4 as part of national signing day.
"I loved it down there," Papale said of Delaware. "They treated me great. They made me feel really special."
Papale was a standout receiver and defensive back for the Crusaders. He also was a kick returner and punter.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder was recruited as a wide receiver by Delaware, which plays in the Colonial Athletic Association with Villanova, New Hampshire, and Towson, among other programs.
Papale caught six touchdown passes in Bishop Eustace's first five games, spurring the Crusaders to a 5-0 start. He missed most of the second half and Eustace dropped its final five games.
Papale suffered a broken collarbone on the first series of an Oct. 31 game against Glassboro. He returned to serve as a punter in Bishop Eustace's Thanksgiving Day game against Pennsauken.
He said he has been cleared to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl on Jan. 10 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
He also will play for Team USA's under-19 team in the International Bowl on Feb. 7 against Team Canada at the University of Texas at Arlington's Maverick Stadium.
Papale said it was "a relief" to settle his college choice.
"I was getting a little worried after I got hurt," Papale said. "I'm really excited about the opportunity."