Former Turlock High football standout Anthony Frias II will be taking his talents to the Division I level of college football after accepting a full-ride scholarship to Kansas State University last week. Frias, who spent last year as Modesto Junior College’s lead running back, feels as if he is ready for some of the biggest stages that college football has to offer.
“I’m ready to compete,” said the 2020 THS graduate. “I always felt I could play somewhere like this. Everybody just takes different roads to get there. I just trusted myself and now I feel like I’m finally ready for the big stadiums and the big lights.”
Prior to accepting the offer from Kansas State, Frias received heavy interest from other Division I programs. He explained that after touring the Kansas State campus and meeting with the coaching staff, the decision was an easy one to make.
“The town, the environment and the staff are amazing,” Frias said. “Having those one-on-one meetings with all the coaches made me realize that there is something special happening at K-State.”
The Kansas State coaching staff is made up of a number of individuals who have made their marks on college football history. Head coach Chris Klieman won four straight FCS National Championships alongside NFL veteran Carson Wentz at North Dakota State, offensive coordinator Collin Klein was a Heisman Trophy finalist at K-State in 2012 and running backs coach Brian Anderson has served in multiple coaching positions around college football for the past 28 years.
“The one-on-one conversations with the coaches were great,” Frias said. “They are committed to their players and they’re going to make me the best athlete I can be in the next three or four years.”
While Frias admits that living and playing in Manhattan, Kansas will be a new experience for him, he believes that his journey through Turlock and MJC have prepared him for this moment.
“I had an amazing time at Turlock High School and I’ll never forget those moments. And at MJC, it still felt like home playing alongside some of my Turlock teammates. Now at K-State, I feel like I’m prepared. With Turlock being a D1 high school and MJC being one of the top JUCO programs in the state, it gives me confidence to perform at such a good program and at the highest level,” he explained.
During his one year at MJC, Frias led the Valley League with 851 rushing yards and a state-high 17 touchdowns. He was named to the 2021 All-State and All-League teams. Now, he is excited to see how his game translates to the highest level of collegiate football.
“These are top guys in the country and the best programs in the nation. To be able to play at this level and see where I’m at amongst the best of the best is so surreal for me. I’m very grateful and blessed,” Frias said.