Mark Thompson Named USFL OPOY | Frank Ginda DPOY

Mark Thompson Named USFL OPOY | Frank Ginda DPOY

Two of the top playmakers in the USFL this season were RB Mark Thompson, and LB Frank Ginda. Both were consistent all year long, and have been rightfully awarded with two of the most prestigious awards in the league.

It was a remarkable 2023 season full of electrifying talent, and these two players had a major role in providing fans with exactly that.

Let’s take a quick look at both of these USFL 2023 campaigns.

OPOY: RB Mark Thompson | Houston Gamblers

Mark Thompson had a magnificent year for Curtis Johnson and the Houston Gamblers. The team started 0-2, which was largely due to Mark being unavailable. Once he joined the squad in week three, they won five of their next six games, as Thompson was unstoppable.

Thompson has set a modern USFL record with 14 rushing touchdowns, which is insane. Even more impressive, he did that in only eight games. One has to wonder what the total tally would have been if he played ten games.

Mark’s efforts were something to watch throughout the season. He was always providing the team with a late spark, something that became a staple of his game.

USFL President of Football Operations, Daryl Johnston, had this to say:

“Mark Thompson was the centerpiece of the Gamblers offense and was a threat to score every time he touched the ball, rushing for 14 touchdowns. A truly incredible season worthy of being named 2023 USFL Offensive Player of the Year.”

While the Houston Gamblers were unable to secure a playoff berth, they made dramatic improvements compared to 2022, finishing with a 5-5 record. After such a successful USFL season, Mark Thompson was very deserving of being named Offensive Player Of The Year. Expect the NFL to be calling soon.

DPOY: LB Frank Ginda | Michigan Panthers

What a season it was for Frank Ginda. One year ago, he led the Michigan Panthers with 88 tackles and played quite well – but in 2023, he was even better.

Frank Ginda was an absolute leader for Mike Nolan week in and week out. Ginda led the entire USFL with 104 tackles, while also racking up three interceptions, three TFL, and five PD.

While there were multiple candidates who were in the same ballpark, what Frank Ginda did this season was unheard of. He won Defensive Player Of The Week four times, which is a USFL record. Time and time again, he provided the team with leadership and playmaking that allowed them to either stay close – or win games.

Michigan snuck into the playoffs with a 4-6 record, ultimately falling to the Pittsburgh Maulers in an overtime Divisional round battle.

Mike Nolan spoke very highly of Frank Ginda throughout the season. He called him an “intelligent football player”, and someone who was the “signal caller” defensively. As mentioned, he was the leader for Nolan’s defense all year long.

Final Thoughts

The USFL featured incredible talent in 2023. Mark Thompson and Frank Ginda are two examples of exactly that, who were both well deserving of these awards.

With only one award left to hand out, the USFL 2023 MVP will be announced a day or two before the USFL Championship, which is this Saturday. The Birmingham Stallions will face off against the Pittsburgh Maulers at 8pm ET on NBC.

Do you think Mark Thompson deserved to win USFL OPOY? What are your thoughts on Frank Ginda being named the USFL DPOY? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!