West Hills College Coalinga's championship quarterback Vincent "The Flash" Espinoza signed his National Letter Of Intent with NCAA Division II Lincoln University in Pennsylvania on Friday, as his Falcon teammates, coaches and family members gathered in the Athletic Department Wellness Center.
Espinoza, who helped guide the Falcons to consecutive Golden Coast League titles and the 2016 Northern California Football Conference American Bowl championship, passed for 1,318 yards and 15 touchdowns as a sophomore captain.
He chose Lincoln over several other four-year universities.
"Lincoln recruited me since the end of our season and head coach Herb Pickens showed great interest," Espinoza said.
"This was the best decision for me, my family, and my academic career. I'll have the opportunity to compete and I look forward to contributing in any way I can."
Espinoza (23) will reunite with former WHCC teammate Tyler Wilson, who recently completed his first season with the Lions as a tight end.
"Tyler told me he really likes the school and the campus, and said I'll be an impact player in the conference."
Espinoza is currently at WHCC completing his final classes and is on track to graduate with his A.A. degree in Liberal Arts in May.
He plans to head to Pennsylvania in July with his family, including his two sons: Cameron, age 2, and Jaylen, who is three months –born on Oct. 21 moments before kickoff of the homecoming game against Monterey Peninsula. The Falcons beat the unbeaten Lobos, 21-17, when Espinoza tossed the game-winning TD pass to Kris Lewis.
"I've enjoyed my time at West Hill tremendously," he said.
"This football program has prepared me for the next level. I appreciate the coaches, staff, and teachers. Everyone has been supportive in making us successful. The structure of our team gave me an opportunity to grow."
Espinoza (6-3, 210, Madera High School) had the highest completion percentage (59.4) among Golden Coast League quarterbacks. In overall games, his 15 touchdowns (6 INT) ranked second and 1,287 passing yards was third.
"We are all proud of Vincent and excited for his future at the next level," said WHCC Associate Dean of Athletics Eric Mendoza.
"His hard work in the classroom and on the field is setting him up for more success. Vincent is a great example for our current and future student-athletes who are from the Central Valley area and come to West Hills College Coalinga with dreams of earning a scholarship to a university."