Hours before fireworks lit up the sky on the Fourth of July, Navarre Raiders running back Michael Carter grabbed a little attention of his own, announcing live on Periscope he will play college football at the University of North Carolina.
On the radar of major college programs since his freshman year, the heavily recruited high school star had 19 offers from schools across the nation on the table, including Florida, Tennessee and Colorado.
His decision comes just months after a time in his life when his future in football had doubts cast over it. He suffered a severe knee injury in week three of the season, tearing his posterior cruciate ligament and partially tearing his lateral collateral ligament and meniscus.
The injury derailed what would have been a remarkable junior year. Prior to being sidelined, Carter rushed for 526 yards and eight touchdowns.
Through unmatched determination and a will to come back stronger than ever, Carter hit rehab hard at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, pushing himself to the point where he was ahead of schedule with his recovery.
He was able to participate in spring practice at Navarre and has worked out this summer with the Raiders as well, setting the stage for what will be a highly anticipated return to the field in the 2016 season opener against Pensacola Catholic next month.
He said earlier this summer his goal is to help the Raiders win a state championship and is eager to do what he can to make that dream come true.
His future is bright as well. Carter chose a UNC program that is one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels were 11-3 a year ago, reaching the ACC championship game.