The first thing Frank Ginda sees each morning when he wakes up is the NFL logo. It’s been the backdrop photo on his phone since he was a sophomore at Pacheco High School.
Even when it’s been time to get a new phone, the San Jose State junior linebacker makes sure to keep the same picture of the NFL logo as the first thing he sees when he turns on his phone.
A reminder of his ultimate goal.
“Whenever I need to push myself I look at my screensaver on my phone,” Ginda said. “It’s a picture of the NFL, the actual logo. That’s my dream. That’s my purpose. The first thing I wake up to is my phone when I turn off the alarm. So the first thing I see each morning is that NFL logo. That’s how I start each day.”
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After a strong sophomore season, Ginda is garnering attention as one of the top defenders in the Mountain West Conference. On Tuesday, Ginda was selected to the Preseason All-Mountain West Conference First Team by the conference coaches.
This comes after Ginda led the Spartans with 99 tackles last season and finished second on the team with 6.5 sacks.
“For me it’s huge,” Ginda said. “Thinking back to high school when people doubted me. After last season I didn’t get any recognition. So it means a lot to receive this accolade.”
“I think it’s pretty exciting for him,” said Pacheco High coach David Snapp, who coached Ginda in high school. “I didn’t doubt that he could reach these heights. I was disappointed and so was he that he wasn’t named all-conference after last year.”
Ginda was one of three San Jose State players named to the preseason team, joining cornerback Andre Chachere and punter Michael Carrizosa.
Ginda has been working hard during the offseason to live up to the preseason honors. Ginda’s been working out twice a day, six days per week to get himself ready for the season.
“A lot of abs and speed training in the morning,” Ginda said. “I’m trying to get my body in optimal shape. I want to feel my best. I’ve put a big emphasis on getting stronger in the weight room. I’m trying to be a leader as a third year starter.”
Ginda has been able to spend a couple days back home in Los Banos before heading back to San Jose on Thursday to start fall camp. It gave him a chance to attend his grandmother’s 81st birthday party while in town.
Back in San Jose there has been a lot of change since last season with new head coach Brent Brennan coming in with a whole new staff.
There’s been an adjustment period, but Ginda likes what he’s seen so far.
“We have a new offense. We have an entirely new defense. He has brought in a whole new staff,” Ginda said. “There’s a lot of energy. We’ve changed to a spread offense. It’s going to be fun to watch them put up points. We switched to a 3-4 defense. We’re going to do a lot of blitzing.”
Coaches are counting on Ginda to become a leader as a third-year starter. It’s role he was comfortable in at Pacheco. He wants to be a vocal leader who can also lead by example.
He started moving into that role at the end of his sophomore season and it’s continued this offseason with team workouts. Now he’s ready for the season to get underway.
The Spartans have a tough nonconference schedule with games at Texas on Sept. 9 and Utah on Sept. 16 in back-to-back weeks.
“I’m really excited,” Ginda said. “I’ve waited for this for a long time. I’ve never felt as as I do now. I feel great. I’m ready to go.”