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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC quarterback Sam Howell to enter 2022 NFL Draft

Junior quarterback Sam Howell (7) carries the ball at the Duke's Mayo Bowl against South Carolina at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Dec. 30, 2021. UNC lost 21-38.

In a lengthy video posted to his personal social media Saturday evening, UNC junior quarterback Sam Howell announced that he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

Howell's decision comes after three years of playing in Chapel Hill, where he broke every meaningful passing record en route to becoming the team's best quarterback of all time.

The list of records Howell holds is a lengthy one. With career totals of 10,283 passing yards and 92 passing touchdowns, he holds the records for those respective statistics, as well as total offensive yards with 11,292 and total touchdowns accounted for with 111.

"These past few years, and especially past few months, have been a whirlwind, but I have a lot of peace about the next chapter of my life," Howell said in the video.

Even with this season being his statistical worst at North Carolina, Howell still finished strong with 3,056 passing yards and 24 passing touchdowns, as well 828 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Despite his strong play, the Tar Heels finished a disappointing 6-7, ending the season with a defeat to South Carolina in the Duke's Mayo Bowl Thursday, 38-21.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has Howell ranked as the fifth-best quarterback entering in the NFL Draft, sitting just behind Liberty's Malik Willis and ahead of Nevada's Carson Strong. However, Pro Football Network has Howell rated as the third-best quarterback of the draft, projecting he'll be selected with the 28th pick of the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"I'll forever be grateful for my time at Carolina and the people who made it so special," Howell said. "Chapel Hill will always hold a special place in my heart. I don't know exactly what the future holds, but I'm hopeful, and I know whatever it may be, it will be good."