Before going to Temple, and playing under Hall of Fame college coach Wayne Hardin (the former Navy coach who coached two Heisman Trophy winners in Joe Bellino ’60 and Roger Staubach ’63), Klecko played semi-pro football for the Aston (Pennsylvania) Knights of the Seaboard Football League and kept his eligibility by playing under the assumed name “Jim Jones” from the fictional “Poland University.” He also won two NCAA club boxing titles in the heavyweight division. Klecko played high school football at St. James Catholic High School for Boys in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Klecko led the Temple Owls in tackles his last three seasons (1974 – 1976), twice making the All-East team and receiving All-American mention as a junior and senior. He was the ECAC’s Rookie of the Week on October 27, 1973, after Temple’s 31–8 victory over the University of Delaware Blue Hens, in which he had five sacks and 15 tackles. He was inducted into the Temple University Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.