The Daily Nole

4-Star Quarterback Sam Howell Flips to North Carolina

Mitch White/FSU athletics

Florida State lost one of its biggest commits for the 2019 class when 4-star quarterback Sam Howell flipped to North Carolina on Wednesday.

This recruitment became very interesting once offensive coordinator Walt Bell departed from FSU weeks before the Early Signing Period. The conventional wisdom was that as long as Bell was in Tallahassee, Howell would be too.

Howell is from North Carolina and was interested in the Tar Heels even after they fired head coach Larry Fedora. But his main connection was with Walt Bell and the offense that FSU promised they would run.

When Bell left, it was a 50/50 shot from there on out. Howell’s father played a key role in his recruitment and it became clear that Florida State was having to recruit both of them. Eventually the Seminoles faltered, and the Tar Heels were the pick.

Earlier this week, we discussed the options for Florida State in the event that Sam Howell flipped. It seems likely that the Seminoles will go after 4-star quarterback Lance Legendre, who will be signing in February. He is one of the only options left on the board at this point in the cycle.

Concerning for Florida State is the fact that Willie Taggart has yet to gain a quarterback commit in a full calendar year. The Seminoles lost out on James Foster and Justin Fields in the 2018 class, and now there is no guarantee they sign one for the 2019 class. While some factors are out of their control, it is a major error on their part that they chose to not take another quarterback in addition to Howell.

Howell is listed by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 87 overall recruit and the third-best pro-style quarterback. With the losses of Howell and Derick Hunter, FSU’s class falls from 11th to 14th overall.

Clint Eiland is the Lead Writer for The Daily Nole. You can follow him on Twitter @ClintEiland.

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