Heel Tough Blog: Weekly Storylines- January 16th

Updated: Jan 21

For the second straight week, things have been buzzing around Tar Heel football with offseason storylines. We’ve had you covered with all of the major storylines this week, but now it's time to get you caught up on the ones you may have missed.

Tommy Gilligan- USA Today Sports

Sam Howell Receives First Team Freshman All-American Honors

Before we officially said goodbye to the 2019-20 college football season, Howell had one more honor to collect. He was named a first team freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America on Monday morning as part of the freshman awards ceremony that was held prior to the CFP Playoff National Championship Game in New Orleans. As a true freshman in 2019, Howell threw for 3,641 yards, the second most in a single season for a Tar Heel quarterback, and 38 passing touchdowns, the most in school history and a college football record for passing touchdowns by a true freshman.


@PaytonPage55- Twitter

Tar Heels Crack 5✮ DT Payton Page’s Top Five

The 2021 class has seen a lot of top prospects beginning to narrow down their lists and on Saturday, the state of North Carolina top prospect released his final five. Page, the No. 7 overall player in the 2021 class according to 247Sports Composite rankings, has the Tar Heels in his top five along with national powerhouses Clemson, LSU and Oregon, as well as Tennessee. The Tar Heels being the only in-state team left in the running says a lot about the progression this team has made in Mack Brown’s short time back, however, keeping him in-state will be difficult. Page is one of, if not the top priority, for Clemson in the 2021 class and LSU will also have him as one of their top priorities until he makes a decision. The staff has established a strong relationship with him and the connection to Myles Murphy helps, but the Tar Heels have some work to keep the top prospect in the state at home in 2021.


@TarHeelFootball- Twitter

Spring Game Set For April 18th

The annual spring game date and time was set on Sunday afternoon, as the game will take place in Kenan Stadium on April 18th at 3:00 PM. After not being televised at all a year ago, the game will be live on ACC Network this season in a game that should feature some important battles along the offensive and defensive lines and in the defensive backfield. More information will be released about the event that the program will hope can be a statement about where the support level is at.


@TarHeelFootball- Twitter

Three Tar Heels Make ESPN CFB150 Greatest Players List

ESPN released its list of the 150 greatest players in college football history on Thursday afternoon, a list that contained three former Tar Heels. Former linebacker Lawrence Taylor led the group of Tar Heels off, checking in at No. 43, the only of the three to be ranked inside the top 50. At No. 104, Julius Peppers made his appearance, a ranking that seems a bit too low for one of college football’s most complete defensive ends ever. Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice rounded out the Tar Heel representatives at No. 133, a spot that is well deserved for a player that finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy twice in his career. Dre Bly’s omission is the only major question mark that should be brought up here after his legendary career at Carolina back in the 90’s went unrecognized on this list.



More 2021 Targets Release Top Team Lists

Page wasn’t the only major 2021 target to narrow down his decision during this past week. On Friday, 3✮ ATH Tymir Brown released his top teams list with the Tar Heels amongst nine others that will be cut to five on March 16th according to graphic that Brown posted releasing his final ten schools. 4✮ WR Kobe Paysour would follow that on Sunday with his top seven, as the Tar Heels joined Georgia and Notre Dame among other that will be battling for the talented in-state wide receivers services over the next few months.