Without the benefit of a visit, Howard, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound wide receiver from Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County, ranks UNC third on his favorite schools list.
"I'm a big basketball fan and I've always liked North Carolina's basketball team," Howard said. "But I need to get to the school to learn more."
UNC is currently trailing Clemson and Kentucky for Howard, with the Tigers his leader. He has made several visits to Clemson.
"[Clemson] is just a place where I can enjoy myself outside of football and during football," Howard said. "I've been a pretty good Clemson fan for a while now – that's a plus too."
In spite of his feelings towards Clemson, Howard said he hasn't begun to even think about a verbal commitment. He anticipates waiting until after the football season to make his collegiate decision. In the meantime, he will continue visiting schools, including taking most of his official trips during the fall.
In addition to the three aforementioned schools, Howard is strongly considering Alabama, Louisville, and NC State. Each of the schools he's considering has offered, except Alabama. He's scheduled to visit Tuscaloosa on Saturday and hopes to leave with a Crimson Tide offer.
Besides Clemson, the only other school Howard has visited is Georgia. In addition to UNC, he plans to visit Kentucky and maybe Vanderbilt this summer.
Within the last few weeks, Koenning made an evaluation visit to Wilcox County and left behind a scholarship offer for Howard.
"He watched my highlight film and then he watched me a little bit during spring practice," Howard said.
The offer prompted Howard to reach out to Koenning.
"They're trying to bring in, I think he said, three [wide receivers]," Howard said. "Pretty much, I'm No. 1 on their board right now."
As a junior, Howard caught 28 passes for 837 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had three interceptions on defense.