The NCAA's Early Signing Day for community college football began Wednesday, December 20th with a number of student-athletes becoming eligible to ink their National Letters of Intent (NLI) to four-year institutions. For a pair of Riverside City College football student-athletes, their dream came true by putting pen to paper and moving on to the next level.
Sophomore quarterback Vic Viramontes (Norco, CA) and sophomore offensive lineman Tre Bland (Riverside, CA) put pen to paper to attend Division I schools. Viramontes accepted an offer to attend the University of Minnesota, while Bland will attend the University of New Mexico.
Viramontes was the most highly touted offensive weapon in the state of California after being named the states Offensive Player of the Year and a First-Team All-American. Additionally, he was named the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Offensive Player of the Year and a two-time SCFA Central Division Offensive Player of the Week. The local talent will join the Gophers offensive with a strong chance of grabbing the starting gig following a pair of former Minnesota quarterbacks departing. Viramontes rushed and passed for over 1,000 yards to act as a true dual threat. He notched seven games where he threw for over 100 yards and passed for over 100 yards. On four occasions he accomplished the feat in the same contest.
Minnesota is a member of the Big Ten conference as a part of the western division. They currently sit sixth with an overall record of 5-7 after starting the season on a three-game winning streak highlighted by a victory over Oregon State.
Bland was the leader of the line and acted as a captain for the Tigers throughout the entire season. He was named to the First-Team All-Conference list after helping the Tigers reach extraordinary heights on offense. He helmed an offensive line that assisted the Riverside offense that ranked first in the Central Division in total offense (5,577), rushing yards (3,263), rushing yards-per-game (271.9), average yards-per-carry (6.3), and rushing touchdowns (32).
Bland is one of 10 junior college faces to join the Lobos next season with six of them coming from California. New Mexico finished 3-9 overall and finished last in the Mountain West Conference's western division.