Nine Riverside City College football student-athletes inked their national letter of intent to attend four-year universities on Wednesday, December 19 for 2018 Early Signing Day. The grip of talented student-athletes was highlighted by freshman defensive end Nickolas Figueroa, sophomore quarterback Stone Smartt and sophomore middle linebacker Vic Viramontes.
Figueroa, the 2018 Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Defensive Player of the Year and the 20th overall defensive end prospect according to 24/7 Sports, was faced with making a tough decision between three powerhouse schools consisting of USC, UCLA, and Tennessee. After much thought consulting his family, coaches and teammates, he plans to join the USC Trojans in 2019. Watch his decision below.
Figueroa was a backfield's nightmare due to his unmatched talent and pure athleticism. He paced the squad with 11.5 sacks to complement 38 total tackles. He recorded at least one tackle in every game and notched at least one sack in 10 games. He would have recorded double the tackles, but opposing teams rarely ran the ball to his side. He logged a game-high and a career-high two sacks in three separate games. Furthermore, he broke through the line for 19.5 tackles for a loss equating to 85 total yards.
Smartt signed with Old Dominion University after being named the 2018 SCFA Offensive Player of the Year for the Tigers. Acting as one of the most reliable quarterbacks in the state, the Loomis, CA native boasted the strongest efficiency rating in the state at 182.2 and tied for third in the state with 31 passing touchdowns. He averaged 9.9 yards-per-attempt and 229.5 passing yards-per-game leading to 2,754 total yards through the air. He threw for three or more touchdowns in six game highlighted by a five touchdown pass game against Orange Coast. Furthermore, he was a threat in the running game after carting the rock 132 times for 583 yards and nine touchdowns. He rushed for at least one touchdown in six games highlighted by a game-high three rushing scores in a playoff victory over El Camino.
After de-committing to the University of Minnesota just one year ago, Viramontes, also known as the the quarterback turned linebacker, decided to attend the University of Nevada – Las Vegas after being offered by TCU, Baylor, Hawai'i, Colorado State, Illinois and Ole Miss amongst many other notable universities. Viramontes was the number two ranked linebacker in the state according to 24/7 Sports and proved to be just that. He led the Tigers with 66 total tackles to average 5.5 tackles-per-game. He recorded 9.5 tackles for a loss to equal 33 yards. He recorded a season-high 10 tackles in the Southern California Championship game which included an interception in the fourth quarter.
Charles committed to Robert Morris University after experiencing a breakout season. He ranked second on the team with 46 tackles to go along with 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and three pass breakups. He recorded a season-high 11 tackles in a conference title clinching victory over Saddleback. Furthermore, he recorded at least one tackle in each game he played.
French, Krahn and freshman Cobe Bryant (not pictured) were the foundation of the offensive line that led to 42.3 points-per game which encompassed a 499.6 passing yards-per-game and 258.5 rushing yards-per-game mark. They protected the backfield that allowed three Tigers to rush for over 250 yards with sophomore running back Malik Walker just 50 yards shy of reaching 1,000 yard rushing.
French will take his talents to Division I Central Oklahoma, Krahn with play for Division I Portland State University and Bryant will join Division I Southern Methodist University.
Freshman Melquise Stovall rounds out the signees by inking his NLI to attend the University of Hawai'i. Before being sidelined due to injury, Stovall hauled in 17 grabs for 289 yards and a touchdown. He was a dual threat as he returned three kicks for 55 yards and two punts.
Southern Methodist University
University of Southern California
Portland State University
University of Hawai'i
University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Mykeal White (Class of 2017)
Southern Utah University