Despite the advances, Howard, a 6-foot-4, 180-pound wide receiver from Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County, says he's only going to officially visit one school.
"There's a little interest [in other schools], but nothing big," Howard said. "Clemson is out of the picture, Georgia is out of the picture, Tennessee is out of the picture – everybody is out of the picture except for North Carolina. North Carolina is the only school that I'm going to [officially] visit."
That UNC official visit is scheduled for this coming weekend.
Howard has only visited UNC once previously – in September for the football game against East Carolina. Shortly after returning home, Howard verbally committed to the Tar Heels.
"I want to see more of the place [on the official visit]," Howard said. "I want to keep building on the relationship with the coaches. I want to see more of the academic facilities."
Howard says the communication with the UNC coaching staff hasn't waned since committing. He speaks often to Blake Anderson, UNC's offensive coordinator; Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach; and Vic Koenning, his primary recruiter. And occasionally, Howard converses with Larry Fedora.
"Every chance they get to make a phone call within the rules, they're making a phone call," Howard said. "Coach Vic has been by, Coach Brewer has come by, and Coach Anderson was here [on Friday].
"We pretty much talk about everything. Most of the stuff is outside of football – dealing with recruiting really."
Howard is doing a little recruiting himself. Close friend and teammate Johnny Dwight is a defensive tackle from the 2014 class who UNC is interested in. Dwight accompanied Howard during the September visit to Chapel Hill.
"We're pretty much like brothers," Howard said. "We stay right beside each other. We're with each other almost every day.
"He liked North Carolina just as much as I did, so I'm pretty sure next year he'll be making an early commitment to North Carolina."
Wilcox County reached the semifinals of the GHSA A playoffs losing to eventual champion Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute. Howard ended the season with 115 catches for 1,630 yards and 17 touchdowns. He came 25 yards short of the state single season record for receiving yards.
"I didn't know [I was short] until it was all over with, because I was worried about getting to the championship game," Howard said. "I thought about how I dropped a few passes during the season – maybe about two or three that I should have caught."