After initially committing to Florida State, Indian Trail Sun Valley QB Sam Howell decided to sign with North Carolina.
Howell signed scholarship papers with the Tar Heels at a special ceremony at his school’s gym Wednesday afternoon.
The Tar Heels began to seriously court Howell, who had committed to the Seminoles, in the fall, with former UNC coach Larry Fedora flying in on a helicopter to watch Howell play a game late in the season at Charlotte Catholic. Howell later took an official visit to North Carolina.
Shortly after that, Florida State offensive coordinator Walt Bell took a job as the head coach at the University of Massachusetts. Bell had been instrumental in Howell’s recruitment to Tallahassee.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News & Observer
Howell spoke to the Observer about Bell’s new job and said it would have a “major impact” on his recruitment.
Howell said after Mack Brown took over at UNC, he and Brown kept in close contact.
Howell is a top 100 national recruit and the No. 2 overall recruit in North Carolina. Last season, Howell threw for 3,241 yards and 36 touchdowns. He ran for 1,392 yards and 17 scores. He is also the all-time leader in total offense in state history with 17,036 yards.
Howell will play in the U.S. Army All-America Game in San Antonio next month.