In an effort to achieve that goal, Howard, a wide receiver from Rochelle (Ga.) Wilcox County, has maintained a very hectic schedule. He has continued to play a sport during each season, but made sure to devote time to preparing for his UNC career.
"During basketball and baseball seasons, I was working out around 5 o'clock in the morning," Howard said. "I would lift and run."
Now that his baseball season has concluded, Howard's daily schedule isn't as demanding. Instead of those pre-dawn workouts, he has joined Impact Sports & Fitness Gym.
"Impact is a place that focuses on combine workouts," Howard said. "It's a place where college players go I the off-season and to prepare for the draft. You have trainers in there and they help guide you."
Howard, who is unsure of his senior season football playing weight, has seen immediate results from Impact. He now holds 196 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame.
"I know I've gained like three pounds," Howard said. "I know I've gotten faster and quicker. In doing all the agility drills, I know my feet got quicker.
"It's so hard for me to gain weight. I'm just trying to gain as much weight as I can."
After a football season in which he almost broke the state record for receiving yards in a season, Howard nearly lead the basketball team to a GHSA Class A State Title. He averaged 23 points and 13 rebounds as Wilcox County reach the title game. However, Wilcox County fell 53-49 to Irwinton (Ga.) Wilkinson County.
Howard then rejoined the baseball team after taking a break from the sport during his junior season to focus on football recruiting. He played primarily third base and shortstop, and pitched a few times. He batted .410 with four home runs.
Although the communication has been less frequent, Howard and UNC continue to maintain a steady line of contact. He says he communicates equally with Gunter Brewer, UNC's wide receivers coach, and Vic Koenning, his primary recruiter.
"We're just talking about finishing up school strong and just being in the best shape that I can," Howard said. "They said they're going to push me until I reach my highest ability."
Both Brewer and Koenning have compared Howard's style of play and road to UNC to that of Quinshad Davis, who led the Tar Heels in receptions and receiving yards as a true freshman last fall.
"Everything seems like they want me and [Davis] on the field at the same time," Howard said. "Since [Erik] Highsmith left, there's room for me."
Howard wore No. 7 for Wilcox County and is unsure what jersey number he'll sport for UNC.
"I'd prefer a lower number," Howard said. "Receivers usually have 88 or 87."
Howard, who says he's academically qualified, is considering majoring in exercise and sports science at UNC. He'll move to Chapel Hill by June 17 – in time for orientation and the second summer semester.