On Wednesday morning, three of the best Tiger football players from 2012 secured four more years on the gridiron.

Colton Bretton, Cody Burtscher and Jared Thames put pen to paper for their National Letters of Intent in front of numerous family members and friends in the GRHS library.

Quarterback Bretton signed with Stephen F. Austin State University.

I took an official visit (on Feb. 2), loved it and decided this is for me, Bretton said. I just love the campus and all the coaches and players Ive met seem really cool. Its a great program. The head coach is a good guy and I look forward to a good season.

Bretton plans on a business-related major. As for Signing Day, he couldnt have been happier about it.

Im overjoyed, he said. Its a turning point in my life and I look forward to the future.

Bretton wont soon forget the good times with Tiger football.

Ill just remember the brotherhood we had here, the way we came together and all the games we won, Bretton said.

SFA quarterback coach Jeremy Moses is pleased with the acquisition.

Colton is a great kid, he said. I had the opportunity to bring his name up numerous times when we were meeting about recruiting, and I love that hes a tall guy. He has great feet, great eyes and delivers an accurate ball, which are three things we definitely look for in a quarterback.

Moses could tell Bretton comes from a good family.

I met him and his father for the first time in the fall and really enjoyed them, he said. Colton has a great attitude and you could tell he was willing to work hard. When he toured our campus with his family (on Feb. 2), I think he fell in love with us and we fell in love with him. Its a great match and hell be an asset here.

Defensive lineman Thames signed with Tarleton State University.

I decided on Tarleton (in late January), he said. I really like where the head coach is going with (the program trying) to move up to Div. I, plus that its close to home.

Thames is leaning toward a physical therapy major. He had plenty to grin about on Signing Day.

Im really excited; I cant wait for next year to get things going, he said. Its awesome that I had a Signing Day.

Thames will carry great memories from his days as a Tiger.

I will always remember the people who have helped me along the way to get where I am today, he said.

Tarleton head coach Cary Fowler is pleased to bring the big man on board.

Jared Thames was originally committed to Air Force and is one of the strongest kids in the state, Fowler said. He is exceptionally athletic for a defensive lineman.

Cody Burtscher signed with Tarleton State University as an athlete, and his role will be determined down the line.

I decided on Tarleton back (in mid November) when they really started talking to me, Burtscher said. I think its a program on the rise and Im really excited to go there and be a part of that. Im really hoping they go Div. I like theyre planning; it will be a lot of fun playing with Jared. Maybe we can make a run at a national championship next year in Div. II.

Burtscher is planning on a biomedical major. He certainly enjoyed the moment on Signing Day.

I feel great, he said. Its a really big moment in my life and Im glad to take the next step in my football career and play for four more years.

Burtscher believes Tiger football has prepared him well.

Id have to say (developing) mental toughness and having to play on both sides of the ball (in Glen Rose) will really help me, he said. The way our coaches taught us, Ill never be in a situation where Im not confident I can accomplish the task.

Fowler was also excited to bring Burtscher into the fray.

Cody Burtscher is just a good all-around football player, and you can never have too many of those, he said. He could help us at any of several positions, so we really signed him as an athlete. Both kids from Glen Rose are exciting athletes and even better young men.

When a high school has a coach with the qualities and reputation of a guy like Tommy Dunn, you learn to take his word on players, and I can tell you both of these guys are highly praised by Coach Dunn not just for their athletic ability but for the type of men they are becoming. Those are the type of young men I want to coach here at Tarleton State.

These standouts will see their team colors and mascots change, but they wont forget their football foundations were laid as red Tigers.