When 2022 3✮ QB Braedyn Locke committed to Mississippi State over the Tar Heels and others back in early May, the thought was that the staff may just turn their attention to a 2023 class where they were already in good standing with the state’s top quarterback prospect. Instead, they kept the search in the 2022 cycle and now have a commitment that allows them to continue to build the depth of the quarterback room.
Just moments ago, 2022 3✮ QB Conner Harrell announced via social media that he was committing to Mack Brown and the Tar Heels over Northwestern, Michigan and Arizona State amongst others. Harrell, the No. 44 quarterback in the 2022 class and the No. 26 prospect from the state of Alabama, visited Chapel Hill in some capacity in each of the final two weekends of June, taking his official visit to campus from June 25th through June 27th. In between visits, he announced that he would make his decision, almost immediately establishing the Tar Heels as the leader to land his services.
Harrell is entering the final season of his prep career off of a tremendous junior season at Thompson High School in Alabaster, AL. He threw for 3,568 yards and 42 touchdowns to just three interceptions, while also adding 319 yards and five touchdowns on the ground while helping lead Thompson to an ASHAA 7A state title. Those numbers were also enough to earn him Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Alabama, as well as the Class 7A Back of the Year Award from the Alabama Sports Writers Association and the Birmingham Offensive MVP Award from AL.com. Not too bad for a quarterback in his first season as a starter that had to follow the likes of Taulia Tagovailoa and Sawyer Pate.
Harrell’s tape shows a lot of attributes that will make him an intriguing addition to this class. He shows very strong pocket awareness, sliding up in the pockets constantly to be able to make plays and uses his scrambling ability to extend plays, as well. He has a cannon for an arm that allows him to make quick accurate throws at all levels and his ball placement on his passes allow him to place throws into tight windows. His footwork was solid, but was the one aspect of his game that was thrown off a bit at times when he was under pressure. The level of competition is no concern at all, although the success Tagovailoa and Pate after leaving the talent rich high school may be. There are a lot of things to like about Harrell’s game and he seems like a guy who will be able to come in and compete in the Tar Heels’ loaded quarterback room.
With the commitment, the Tar Heels’ 2022 class, which now has nine overall commitments, sits at No. 28 overall and No. 5 in the ACC in the cycle according to 247Sports Composite team rankings.