Football, along with any sport, can teach a student-athlete how to manage the challenges in life - balance, patience, discipline. Controlled athletics requires all three major needs in order to succeed along with many life-lessons along the way. The urge to learn and grow as a human being can be the most vital trait a successful student-athlete can hold possess. For a large number of student-athletes that strapped on the black and orange for the state-ranked Riverside City College football team, the hard work and determination has paid off.
On Wednesday, February 7th, the Tigers saw 12 student-athletes put pen to paper on Signing Day as they committed to various four-year universities highlighted by sophomore defensive end Misiona Aiolupotea-Pei (Gold Coast, Australia) and sophomore defensive back Devanere Crenshaw (Riverside, CA).
Aiolupotea-Pei inked his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to attended Division I Washington State University next season. The 6-3, 250 lbs monster controlled the edge for the Tigers throughout the entire season by racking up 41 total tackles and 5.5 sacks in 12 games played. He averaged 3.4 tackles-per-game while notching eight tackles for loss. He recorded a season-high seven tackles on two separate occasions and season-high two sacks in a win over L.A. Harbor.
The Australian native has a unique story after only strapping on the pads a handful of times before coming to the states with a dream to play college football. He was a dominant rugby player, a popular Australian sport, and reached out to the coaching staff for guidance. With speed, strength and endless power, Head Coach Tom Craft and the rest of the coaching staff molded him into one of the top defensive prospects in the state. He received multiple Division I offers prior to becoming a Cougar.
The Cougars went 9-4 last season and began the campaign 6-0. They defeated powerhouse Pac-12 programs such as University of Southern California (USC) and University of Utah. They fell to Michigan State in the 2017 Holiday Bowl, 42-17.
Crenshaw inked his NLI to attend Division I Youngstown State University in 2018 after having a remarkable year manning the Tiger secondary. Acting as Riverside's top corner back and hybrid safety, Crenshaw led the team in total tackles with 56 that lead to 5.1 tackles-per-game. He was swift in the secondary by rising up for a pair of interceptions and totaling 75 return yards. Additionally, he recorded two break-ups and had 3.5 tackles for a loss to total 14 yards.
The Penguins play in the Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) and finished 6-5 with a 4-4 conference record.
Most signees have already enrolled for spring and were not able to attend the event. Here is the most recent 2018 Transfer List:
|Woody Brandom||Sam Houston State Univesity||Southland||Division I|
|Bryce Peterson||University of Akron||Mid-American||Division I|
|Drew Kobayashi||Washington State University||Pac-12||Division I|
|Kelon Bradford||Lindenwood University - Belleville||Mid-States||Division II|
|Melvin Johnson||University of Toledo||Mid-American||Division I|
|Moroni Anae||University of Utah||Pac-12||Division I|
|Tareke Lewis||University of Utah||Pac-12||Division I|
|Tre Bland||University of New Mexico||Mountain West||Division I|
|Travis Jonsen||Montana State University||Big Sky||Division I|
|Vic Viramontes||University of Minnesota||Big Ten||Division I|