GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s true freshman quarterback Sam Howell has been voted the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Rookie of the Year, according to a press release from the conference.
Howell was voted rookie of the year by the league’s 14 head coaches and a 46-member select media panel, the release says.
Howell is the first true freshman quarterback to be named UNC’s starter for a season opener and he currently leads the ACC in passing yards and touchdowns. He has thrown for 3,347 yards and 35 touchdowns.
According to the ACC, Howell’s touchdown stats are the best for a true freshman in the conference’s history. No true freshman has ever thrown 35 touchdowns in the ACC and Howell also holds the record for most touchdown passes, regardless of class, at UNC, the release states.
Howell is currently tied with former Clemson All-American and current Houston Texans starter Deshaun Watson for the fourth-most touchdown passes thrown in one season by an ACC player, according to the ACC. Watson threw 35 touchdowns in 2015 while at Clemson.
According to the press release, Howell and Ohio State’s Justin Fields are the only quarterbacks in the nation to throw for at least two touchdowns in every game they’ve played this season.
Howell, who was also named the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, is one of just three quarterbacks in the nation to throw at least 35 touchdown passes with seven or fewer interceptions, the release says.
Howell is the fifth UNC player to be named the ACC’s overall Rookie of the Year and the first in 23 years. Current UNC assistant coach Dre’ Bly also won the honor in 1996.
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