Maybe Mack Brown still has a few tricks up his sleeve after all. While most coaches will struggle making much of an impact with a short window to work with before the early signing period, Brown managed to score a nice recruiting victory at the expense of another ACC program on Wednesday. Quarterback Sam Howell officially flipped his commitment from Florida State to Brown’s North Carolina Tar Heels on the first day during the early signing period.
Howell is a four-star pro-style quarterback, according to his Rivals profile. The recruiting service ranks Howell as the nation’s fourth-best pro-style passer and the third top recruit overall in the state of North Carolina. Brown being able to secure one of the top recruits from within the state, and one that plays such a key position is a major recruiting victory for the Tar Heels. To keep him from going to a program like Florida State is the cherry on top of the recruiting battle as well.
Howell had remained committed to Florida State after the Seminoles lost offensive coordinator Walt Bell, who led the recruiting effort for Howell at Florida State, to a head coaching job at UMass but Brown and new UNC offensive coordinator Phil Longo remained in pursuit for one of the top recruits in the state. Howell will get a chance to be a major building block for an in-state program looking to return to a successful level that has been missing for the majority of time since Brown was last the head coach of the program.
“This is what my family and I thought was best,” Howell said, according to Rivals. “I learned about coach Longo as a person and what he’s going to do offensively when I met with him on Sunday. I really liked him and I’m excited to play for him. I think he’s a really good quarterbacks coach.”
This is a great way for Brown to get his second run in Chapel Hill started.