ARITON, Ala. (WDHN) — It was a big day for Ariton High School as one Purple Cat put pen to paper to play college ball.

Tuff Hand has been a three year varsity starter for Purple Cat football playing both offensive and defensive line.

Monday he signed with Birmingham-Southern where he’ll play on the offensive line.

Hand made Second-Team All-State for Class 2A both as a junior and senior.

Several schools were interested in him but the Panthers’ program felt like home for him.

He’s also excited about the opportunity to learn more about the medical field in Birmingham as he plans to pursue a career in medicine.

I’ve always been told that I was too small to play offensive line in college, but this year I completely just kicked it on and played at a different level,” Hand said. “Colleges finally started noticing me and taking a chance on me. Birmingham-Southern was one of the first schools that looked at me and from the moment they offered me I knew that’s where I wanted to play.”

Hand hopes to play right tackle for the Panthers, his favorite position on the gridiron.