Frank Ginda knows he's going to get his shot to make an NFL team. Whether an NFL team takes him in the upcoming draft or he signs as a free agent after the draft, Ginda is going to get an opportunity to fulfill his dream of being an NFL player.
The toughest part right now is the waiting.
Since announcing he was going to forgo his senior year at San Jose State a few months ago, Ginda's life has been consumed by the NFL Draft, which will be held April 26-28.
"It's impossible not to think about it," Ginda said. "I think about it constantly. I talk about it with friends and family. It's almost two weeks away. I'm trying to enjoy the process. Whereever I end up I know it will be the right place.
"I know I'm going to get my shot. It's going to come down to what I do with it."
Ginda has done almost everything he can do to impress NFL teams. This past season he led the nation with 173 tackles. After not getting invited to the NFL combine, Ginda put all his energy toward his pro-day workout at San Jose State.
Despite being involved in a car accident one week before his pro day, which left him with 10 stitches on his face and a banged-up shoulder, Ginda still impressed pro scouts with his performance. He was able to bench press 225 pounds 29 times. He also posted a 40-yard dash time of 4.72 seconds.
"It's been a bumpy road since I left school," Ginda said. "Beginning in February when the formal invitations went out for the NFL combine. Talking to coaches and other people, why would I not get invited? I led the nation in tackles. I was shocked. I was hurt. It motivated me because I knew I still had an opportunity to impress at my pro day.
"A lot of teams talked to my coaches and some of the other players and said this Ginda kid was in a car accident and he's out here doing it like he never was in the accident. It proved I am tough. It proved I can go all out and give it everything I have."
After announcing he was skipping his senior year, one of the first people Ginda called was Marcello Martinelli.
Martinelli is the strength and conditioning coach for the San Jose Sharks minor league affiliate San Jose Barracudas. Martinelli used to be the strength and conditioning coach at Golden Valley High and worked with Ginda while he was in high school at Pacheco High in Los Banos. Ginda would drive to Merced to work out with Martinelli.
"I've worked with a lot of pros who are working hard to get to the next level in the Sharks organization," Martinelli said. "A lot of them are putting in extra work, trying to add to their game. I see a lot of that in Frank. He's not settling for where he's at. He did good at his pro day, now he wants to show up on the field with the camps he's been invited to."
Ginda would work with Martinelli a couple times per week on top of training with the San Jose State coaches four or five times a week.
"I'm still in season so I don't have a lot of time available," Martinelli said. "So it's like, this is the time I'm available if you want to meet me. He brought one of his linebacker buddies and they haven't missed a day. If I had to reschedule, they made an opening in their schedule."
For what Ginda's agent has heard, he could be taken anywhere in the fourth round to signing as a priority free agent after the draft. He's had conversations with the Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Los Angeles Rams, Tennessee Titans, Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
"All those teams have shown interest," Ginda said. "I just don't know how interested they are."
Ginda has done his best to stay off social media leading up to the draft. He doesn't want anything to negatively affect him. Ginda plans to head home back to Los Banos to watch the draft with his family on TV.
Until then, all he can do is wait.
"It's stressful," Ginda said. "I'm really stressed out. It's a waiting game. Nobody wants to wait for two weeks. By far it's the biggest experience of my life. Football is no longer a given sport to me. It's a job I have to earn. This is the biggest step I have to take and I'm excited for it."