UNC Football: Sam Howell receives second team All-American honors

Sam Howell named to 2021 preseason All-American second team by Sporting News.

Death, taxes, and UNC football star Sam Howell collecting preseason honors like Thanos’ jewels are all guarantees. Sporting News added to the honors by listing Howell as the second-best quarterback in the nation, trailing behind Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler. There’s no denying how huge of an honor it is to be looked at as a top-two quarterback in all of college football. However, even some honors are still snubs.

Both Rattler and Howell have the tools to be the best quarterback in football, but who has the better case for being ranked higher heading into the 2021 season?

Rattler only played three games his first year, as he sat behind current Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. That same season, as a true freshman, Howell threw 35 touchdowns in the regular season, which broke North Carolina’s single-season touchdown record. Howell ended his freshman campaign with 38 touchdowns, which led the Atlantic Coastal Conference — 3,641 passing yards for second-best in the conference while only throwing seven interceptions.

This past season, Rattler showed he was worth the wait by throwing for 3,031 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. As impressive as those numbers are, they were below Howell’s, who proved his freshman season was no fluke. The UNC standout threw for 3,586 yards, 30 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He led the ACC once again in passing touchdowns, and ranked fourth in the NCAA in passing yards. Howell also had the better completion percentage (68.1), and a quarterback rating of 179.1 –that compared to Rattler’s 67.5 completion percentage and a QBR of 172.6.

Rattler is no slouch, though, and this isn’t to discredit his talents. However, there’s an old saying that says, “men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t”, and it’s clear who has the better numbers.

Be sure to check back with Keeping it Heel as we continue coverage on Sam Howell and the UNC football program.