MONROE — Sam Howell, the third-ranked pro-style quarterback in the class of 2019 and North Carolina’s all-time leader in total offense, is coming to Chapel Hill.
On Wednesday afternoon at Sun Valley High School, the high school senior flipped to UNC football and head coach Mack Brown. Howell had been committed to Florida State since April of this year. With Howell’s commitment, North Carolina now has 17 commits in its 2019 class.
Howell had reaffirmed his commitment to the Seminoles multiple times this year. But things changed in early December when Walt Bell, FSU’s offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and Howell’s main recruiter, took the head coach job at the University of Massachusetts.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound quarterback had already taken an official visit to UNC in mid-November, when Larry Fedora was coaching. After playing in the Shrine Bowl on Saturday, Howell took a second official visit to Chapel Hill on Sunday morning, as reported by Inside Carolina. This was allowed under NCAA rules due to the head coaching change.
Howell has known UNC cornerbacks coach Dré Bly for years, and he has a good relationship with UNC co-defensive coordinator Tommy Thigpen, as reported by the Charlotte Observer. And UNC offensive coordinator Phil Longo recruited Howell heavily while working at Ole Miss.
UNC had a rollercoaster of a season at the quarterback position in 2018. During a 2-9 year, nine players threw at least one pass for the Tar Heels, including five quarterbacks.
In 2019, Howell will join a group featuring redshirt senior Nathan Elliott; redshirt junior Chazz Surratt; and true sophomores Cade Fortin and Jace Ruder. Longo will coach North Carolina’s quarterbacks.