Spartans Offer Local Linebacker

A Football Bowl Subdivision offer is the dream of every elite high school athlete. When that first one comes it can be a huge relief knowing that college will not be a major expense. This evening, San Jose State made the dream come true for this local linebacker, and Inside Sparta spoke with him about the offer.

San Jose State has won three of its last four games, including a thrilling 28-24 victory over Hawai'i on Friday in front of a national television audience on ESPN. Inside Sparta reported earlier that the win has garnered the Spartans a tremendous amount of local and national media attention. It has also caught the attention of kids looking to choose where to spend their college years.

SJSU hopes one local star stays close to home, and took a big step towards that by presenting him with a scholarship offer.

"I got off the phone a little while ago with head coach (Mike) MacItyre and he offered me," Bellarmine high school linebacker Joseph Gigantino said. "It's my first offer and it's really great. San Jose State has been having a great year, they're a young team and they're going to have some great teams."

While the Spartans are the first to throw their hat into the ring for Gigantino, they have some major competition for his signature come National Signing Day.

I'm waiting for Washington to offer," he said. "I went up to their camp and I really enjoyed it. They've told me they want to see how my senior year goes before they offer, so I'm sending them tape soon."

The 6-foot-1, 217-pound Gigantino said the SJSU staff is recruiting him as an inside linebacker, which is his preference. He added he's been in constant contact with Terry Malley.

Gigantino is no stranger to San Jose State. Older Spartans fans may recall the name Joe Gigantino, Jr., Joseph III's father, who played linebacker for Fresno State in the late 80s.

"My dad played in the California Bowl," Gigantino the younger said. "He shows me his ring and tells me that Fresno State and San Jose State are big rivals."

However, Joe III said his parents will be supportive of his choice of schools regardless. As far as following his father to the Central Valley?

"I've talked to Fresno State, but they recruited a bunch of linebackers last year," he said. "So really they aren't an option."

One other school prominent of Gigantino's radar is Football Championship Subdivsion school Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

"I've taken unofficial visits there several times and probably will again," Gigantino said. "They haven't offered but they are definitely a school I'm interested in."

Gigantino said he is in no hurry to make a decision as his coach is stressing on the team concentrating on the season. As such he added he'll make his college choice after the season and may wait until Signing Day.

Don Hoekwater is the Publisher of Inside Sparta. You are welcome to contact Don with any questions or suggestions at

Better yet, join the rest of the Inside Sparta community in discussions of this article, and more, on the Inside Sparta Discussion Forums!

Inside TheSpartans Top Stories