North Carolina freshman Sam Howell is the leader in the three-way quarterback competition and will take the first-team snaps for Tar Heels, coach Mack Brown said Sunday.

Howell, a true freshman, had been competing with redshirt freshmen Cade Fortin and Jace Ruder.

"Sam has just been more consistent than the other two," Brown said.

The 247Sports composite ranked Howell as a four-star prospect and the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2019. He initially committed to Florida State but de-committed after offensive coordinator Walt Bell resigned in December to accept the head coaching job at Massachusetts.

From Monroe, N.C., Howell decided to move on to his home-state school.

North Carolina plays South Carolina in Charlotte, N.C., on Aug. 31 to open the season.

--Field Level Media

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