Huard earned Washington player of the year honors from three publications as a senior at Puyallup (Wash.) High School in 1997. He was rated among the nation's top five passing quarterbacks.
Huard looked ready to star at the collegiate level, just like his two older brothers before him. And the scholarship offers poured in.
He signed with North Carolina on Feb. 4, 1998, and nothing has gone quite right for him since.
In April of that year, national player of the year Ronald Curry announced he would attend UNC. Because Curry also played basketball, he was allowed to make his decision after the football signing period ended in February.
"At the time I was more surprised than anything else because I had the expectation I was going to be the only quarterback signed," Huard said. "For a minute there was a little bit of frustration because I knew the type of athlete that was coming in. I heard all the hype and accolades, so it was a little bit disappointing."
But Huard still came to UNC. He said he wanted to find out how he stacked up against the nation's top talent.
Curry won the backup quarterback job that fall, and saw plenty of game time as Oscar Davenport struggled through injuries. Huard redshirted.
Huard got a chance to start last season after Curry was lost for the season with an Achilles injury. But Huard suffered a rotator cuff injury in his throwing shoulder in the same game he replaced Curry.
Huard didn't discuss the severity of the injury with his coaches and tried to play anyway.