The highs and lows of the 2023 Michigan Panthers season have been one for the history books when it comes to not only the team’s overall success but also, the success of their individual players. Leading the charge of accolades in Michigan was Frank Ginda and Breeland Speaks with each player earning Defensive Player of the Week Honors multiple times this season. On Wednesday June 21st the USFL released their All-USFL team, with Ginda and Speaks both earning the honor of representing the Panthers in 2023.
After possibly being considered a “snub” for the honor in 2022, Ginda answered his doubters in 2023, leading the USFL in Tackles (104), second in interceptions, while recording a sack in his 2nd USFL season. Ginda won Defensive Player of the Week honors a record 4 times in 2023, and also tied Donald Payne’s modern record for tackles in game with 18 Tackles in week 6.
Breeland Speaks has a bit of a different story than Ginda’s, as this was his 1st season in the USFL, after a One Year hiatus from football. Speaks was a 2nd-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, who signed with the Panthers after being released by the Buffalo Bills in December 2021. Speaks got off to a fast start in 2023 earning Defensive Player of the Week honors in week One where he recorded 3 sacks in his first game. In week Six, Speaks earned the award once again totaling 2.5 sacks and Six Tackles, ultimately finishing the season with 53 tackles and 9.0 sacks enroute to an All-USFL season.
Panthers players earned Nine players of the week honors this season, with Ginda and Speaks accounting for Six of those honors, to many there wasn’t much discussion about the amount of respect fans of the league had for the Panthers All-USFL representatives. While Speaks and Ginda obviously deserve a multitude of Post Season accolades, the mission right now remains pretty clear for both players right now. Win A USFL Championship, and earn an NFL opportunity.