PICKERING — Over the past few years at Pickering, there has been a football renaissance.

PICKERING — Over the past few years at Pickering, there has been a football renaissance.

In these four years, the Red Devils reached the playoffs every year, twice getting to the second round and once to the state quarterfinals.

Four players — Patrick Hinson, Azaviar Carter, Austin Talley and Marcus Hill — have all had a huge part in this success.

And now, they get to take that to the next level.

Hinson, Carter, Talley and Hill all inked scholarship offers from the University of Mary Hardin Baylor on Friday, signing to play football with the reigning and defending NCAA Division III national champions.

“Pickering High School is very proud of all four of these young men,” said administrative assistant Kenny Higgs. “I know they will represent us very well in college.”

Hinson, the 2015 Vernon Parish Player of the Year, was a four-year starter at quarterback for the Red Devils and was the District 3-2A MVP as a junior.

At just 5-7, he will likely not play quarterback at UMHB, though they have used smaller quarterback in the past.

However, Hinson will likely see most of his time as a slot receiver, which should be an easy transition for him.

“It's always been a dream of mine to play college football,” he said. “I'm really excited about playing there. They have great facilities and a winning atmosphere.”

Carter, who transferred to Pickering as a junior, was an all-state pick a year ago along the offensive line. Originally, he had been committed to Lamar University.

However, when the new coaching staff arrived at the Beaumont school, they pulled Carter's scholarship, leaving the big lineman without a home.

After talking with several schools, Carter visited Mary Hardin Baylor and knew it was the place for him.

“It was tough on me when Lamar pulled their offer,” he admitted. “But it all paid off in the end as I'm getting to go to a very good school. I had a great connection with the players and coaches at Mary Hardin Baylor. It really felt like I was at home.”

Talley, a two-time all-Vernon Parish selection along the offensive line, had a few schools interested in hie, but found Mary Hardin Baylor to be the place for him.

“What an amazing place,” Talley said. “It was upbeat and had a very positive atmosphere. I loved the small class sizes, plus it was great meeting with the coaches and players. It was simply amazing.”

As for Hill, who has helped the Red Devil basketball team reach the second round of the Class 2A playoffs, he thought his football career was over after a second-round loss to eventual state champion Sterlington.

“I thought that Sterlington game was it for me and football,” Hill said. “I hit up Coach (Stephen) Wiggins for some help and he sent me to Mary Hardin Baylor. I knew from the start that this was home. I couldn't be more happy or excited.”

All four players received help from former Pickering assistant Wiggins, now the head coach at South Cameron High School.

In addition to serving as a head coach, Wiggins runs a free recruiting service called Student Athlete International (SAI), helping athletes find them a home to hone their athletic skills, while also getting a great education.

Wiggins was in attendance and beamed with pride as all four inked their scholarship offers.

“I appreciate all of the support the community has given these young men over the years,” Wiggins said. “Everyone was a part of this today and I'm very happy for all four of these young men.”