CFB Player Profile: Sam Howell, North Carolina

QB Sam Howell, North Carolina

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HOMETOWN (HIGH SCHOOL): Indian Trail, NC (Sun Valley)
247 RATING: .9582
YEAR: Sophomore

Passing: 3,641 yards (61.4%), 38 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 35 yards (0.4 ypc), 1 touchdown

Passing: 3,641 yards (61.4%), 38 touchdowns, 7 interceptions
Rushing: 35 yards (0.4 ypc), 1 touchdown


Sam Howell Breakdown

– Cool in the clutch
– Poise
– Decent arm strength
– Ball placement
– Deep passes
– Ball dives
– Decision making
– Anticipation
– Drops ball

If you’re looking for an explanation for North Carolina’s turnaround, you don’t have to look far. The offense exploded last year under Mack Brown, and a freshman quarterback was largely responsible for that improvement. Sam Howell took over the Tar Heels starting job, and never looked back. He leads an explosive offense full of playmakers at the skill positions, and knows how to make an impact late in games.

Despite being a freshman, pressure doesn’t faze him. In fact, some of his best plays last year came in the fourth quarter. That’s a tough trait to teach any quarterback, so now Howell can focus on other things to make himself an even better passer. With playmakers like Dazz Newsome and Dyami Brown, deep passes are a viable option for the North Carolina offense. Howell has the arm strength to get them the ball downfield, and can throw that ball accurately with great ball placement. One of the concerns with his arm strength is that he sometimes tenses up with short to medium throws, and his ball tends to dive and hit the ground before getting to his receivers.

Though he plays like a more experienced player, we saw the freshman side of him come out too. His decision making isn’t always the best, and at times he trusts Brown and Newsome more than he should. Throwing the ball up for grabs will only work so much before it costs him. As he studies the playbook more, he’ll be able to make better decisions and anticipate his throws better.

Sam Howell exploded onto the scene in Chapel Hill, and gives North Carolina a dangerous threat as a passer. Combined with the talent at the skill positions, the Tar Heels will move the ball up and down the field with ease, and Howell will only get better with time.

Joe Broback
Joe Broback

Joe Broback is a college football contributor for Sports and Fitness Digest.

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