Riverside City College Freshman offensive lineman, Manuel Avina, has decided to accept a scholarship offer to Tennessee Tech University. With this recent signing, the total number of Riverside division one transfers so far is at 14, by the end of the spring semester that number will grow to 20 for the 2017 class. Riverside football has a rich tradition of transferring freshman. Since 2010 Coach Tom Craft has helped 21 freshman transfer early after competing in only one season of Junior College football. Leaving after the spring gives Manuel three seasons to play at Tennessee Tech University.
Manuel Avina graduated from Chino High School in 2016. During his senior campaign, Manuel played well enough to earn 1st Team All-League honors in the Hacienda League. When deciding on what Junior College to attend Manuel visited several local programs to try and see which would be the best fit for him. Manuel said, "RCC was one of three JUCO options that I had, RCC being my number one choice at the time." However, Manuel eventually chose Chaffey College but quickly realized it was a mistake. "I didn't realize that my decision was terrible and that I made a mistake not going to RCC until the season officially started."
"After the season was over, I was interested in transferring to RCC where "I should've gone since the beginning," says Avina. Manuel quickly transferred to Riverside after the fall and enrolled in the winter session. Avina said, "I was welcomed immediately." "I was around a family like environment with the team and coaching staff." Avina worked hard this spring with offensive line coaches Mustafa Johnson and former NFL pro Kyle Turley. Coach Johnson said, "Manuel is a high character young man, he has a no non sense blue collar approach to the weight room and his football preparation." Avina was projected to battle for a starting position, regularly taking reps this spring with the first unit. He will now compete at Tennessee Tech for a starting position with the Golden Eagles.
The 2017 class will add several more signings after the spring. For now the total number of 2017 transfers stands at 21. With the signing of Manuel Avina, Riverside has now transferred 96 players to division one schools since 2010. If you add D2/D3/NAIA transfers, the total number of transfers jumps to over 140 total student athletes. As a Chino high graduate Manuel becomes the 68 local player to transfer to a division one school dating back to 2010. Head Coach Tom Craft, "The foundation of our program has always been local athletes." "We are excited for Manuel and wish him the best."