North Carolina gets quarterback Sam Howell back for at least one more season, but there’s a good chance the Tar Heels will need to find someone to replace him for the 2022 season.
Mack Brown, Phil Longo and the rest of the Tar Heel staff may have found their man in Austin, Texas Westlake High standout Cade Klubnik.
The junior led his school to a state championship last month, passing for 35 touchdowns to only three interceptions. He completed 67 percent of his passes and added 15 rushing scores. In leading Westlake over Southlake Carroll in the 6A state title game, he completed 18-of-20 and earned MVP honors.
His outstanding season earned plenty of attention from top programs, as Michigan, Penn State, Florida and Texas A&M have all offered scholarships in the last month. They join Texas and North Carolina in prioritizing the 6-foot-3, 180 pounder.
In an interview with SI All-American, Klubnik said he plans to make a decision soon, and he’s been very careful in evaluating his potential college homes.
"There are five main points that I really look into in a school, I did it in the beginning and I really stick to it," he told SIAA. "Evaluating each school at every level, in each category. See how I can fit in there when talking to coaches, to the few schools that I've gotten to visit, and also just that gut feeling to see if this is the place I want to be. I'm trying to find out who is really genuine and not going over a script that they use with everybody."
Klubnik also shared his impressions of the Tar Heels, saying, “I think they've got a good future ahead. They've been successful the past two years and are a program on the come-up. I like Coach Brown a lot, I think he's a really good guy.”