The Star is counting down the top football players in Southern Arizona in the weeks leading up to the season.
Today: Salpointe Catholic senior Bruno Fina.
The rundown: Fina is a 6-foot-4-inch, 245-pound offensive lineman for the Lancers.
Who he is: The son of former UA standout and NFL offensive lineman John Fina didn’t begin growing into his 6-4 frame until he started lifting weights as a high school freshman.
At first, the UCLA commit grew slowly. Last year, Fina weighed 215 pounds. Now? He’s 30 pounds heavier.
“A lot of gaining weight and putting on muscle comes with hormones and development, and I think I was a late-bloomer,” said Fina. “I also didn’t want to stunt my growth.”
Getting bigger has its advantages. Fina has noticed a difference in each block during preseason practice.
“It’s a lot easier and I feel more secure with each block,” he said.
What’s the secret besides turning the weight room into a second home? Eating six — sometimes seven — meals every day. Fina consumes four large eggs with jalapeños and cheese for breakfast. After one of his morning classes, he eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then another one just before lunch period. At lunch, Fina will choose whatever meal is available at the Salpointe cafeteria. Once school is finished, Fina will rummage through his lunch box for any leftover snacks such as string cheese, yogurt and chips as a pre-practice meal. After practice, Fina eats two dinners comprised of beef, potatoes, bread, pasta, eggs or any source of protein.
Fina would like to weigh 255 pounds by the time he graduates in May, and hopes to be in the 300-pound range by the time his college career wraps up.
Fina will enter his final season at Salpointe as the Lancers’ starting tackle. He’ll be a part of a unit that also features four-star offensive lineman Jonah Miller, who was recently offered full-ride scholarships to play football at Washington and Oregon.
Proof he’s good: USC offered Fina a scholarship after he took a visit to Los Angeles in April. UCLA followed suit. In August, Fina committed to the Bruins over Boston College and Yale. He also held offers from UA, ASU, Washington State, Oregon State, Nevada and Brown. Fina is also a standout in the classroom. He holds a 4.01 GPA, is currently enrolled in two advanced placement courses — honors physics and honors pre-calculus — and is taking history of American theologies and Engineering 102, which will be counted as a college credit.
He said it: “He’s always been gifted physically. College coaches are looking for people with good feet and hands, and Bruno possesses both qualities. He’s a very bright kid and he understands the Xs and Os. … These kids are so far from reaching their potential and their ceiling. There’s a lot of growth left for Bruno and a lot of development left for him as an offensive lineman.”
— Salpointe Catholic coach Dennis Bene