Six area football players signed their official letters of intent during National Signing Day on Wednesday.
Heritage's Ryan Carter and Zaine Burton signed their letters in front of family and friends in the school's auditorium. Carter is heading to Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, N.C., while Burton will play for Savannah (Ga.) State.
Carter was the Region 6-AAAA Athlete of the Year and was named to the Catoosa-Walker Football Dream Team. He finished his senior year with 130 yards rushing, 545 yards receiving, 567 return yards, 16 total touchdowns and four interceptions on defense. He also earned first team All-State honors from Recruit Georgia and the Georgia Sports Writers Association (GSWA).
Burton was the Region 6-AAAA Defensive Player of the Year and the Catoosa County Defensive Player of the Year after a monster season that saw him record 74 tackles and 20 assists at linebacker. A total of 32 of his tackles went for a loss and 11 were sacks. He also earned first team All-State honors by the GSWA and Recruit Georgia and was honorable mention for the AJC.
Down the road at Ringgold, Drake Starks and Bucky Williams made their choices official. Starks will join Carter at Lenoir-Rhyne, while Williams will suit up at Austin Peay in Clarksville, Tenn.
Starks was on the Catoosa-Walker Dream Team first team after the tight end racked up 403 yards on 25 catches for Ringgold last fall. He was first team Region 6-AAA and was a second team All-State pick by the GSWA.
Meanwhile, Williams was a first team All-Region pick at offensive line, a first team selection All-State by Recruit Georgia, an AJC honorable mention All-State selection and first team on the Catoosa-Walker Dream Team.
At Ridgeland, Austin Garner and Jordan Tucker signed their letters to continue their football careers. Garner is headed to LaGrange (Ga.), while Tucker will play just down the road at Rome's Shorter University.
Garner was a first team Dream Team and a first team All-Region 6-AAAA offensive lineman for the Panthers, which won 11 straight games to start the season. Ridgeland claimed a second straight 6-AAAA championship behind an offense that rushed for over 3,600 yards this past season.
Tucker was a Dream Team first teamer and a first team All-Region selection on the defensive line. He finished the year with 42 tackles, 45 assists, two sacks, two tackles for loss and one interception as the Panthers allowed just about seven points a game in the regular season.
Garner and Tucker gave the Panthers four signees this season. Running back Jalyn Shelton (Austin Peay) and defensive back Markeith Montgomery (Kennesaw State) both signed in the NCAA's early signing period back in December.