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UNC QB Sam Howell named ACC Rookie of the Year, Offensive Rookie of the Year

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell has been voted the 2019 Atlantic Coast Conference Football Rookie of the Year by the league’s 14 head coaches and a 46-member select media panel.

Miami’s Gregory Rousseau was selected as the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year.

The first true freshman quarterback in UNC football history to start a season opener, Howell leads the ACC with 3,347 yards passing and 35 touchdowns. His 35 touchdown passes are the most in a single season by an ACC true freshman and the most by any quarterback in UNC history regardless of class. With one game remaining, Howell is currently tied with former Clemson All-American Deshaun Watson (2015) for the fourth-most touchdown passes thrown in one season by an ACC player.

Howell joins Ohio State’s Justin Fields as the only quarterbacks in the nation to throw multiple touchdown passes in each of his 12 games this season. Also voted the ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year, Howell is one of just three QBs nationally (Fields and LSU’s Joe Burrow) to throw at least 35 touchdown passes with seven or fewer interceptions.

A native of Indian Trail, North Carolina, Howell is the fifth UNC player to be selected the ACC’s overall Rookie of the Year and the first since current Tar Heel assistant coach Dre’ Bly in 1996.

Miami’s Rousseau enjoyed a breakout campaign in his first season as a starter. The Coconut Creek, Florida, native finished the regular season with an ACC-leading 14 sacks – the second-most in the nation – and is tied for 10th in the country with 18 tackles for loss. Rousseau had at least one sack in eight games and had five performances with multiple tackles for loss.

Battling back from a fracture and dislocation of his right ankle that sidelined him just two games into the 2018 season, the 6-6, 260-pound redshirt freshman registered at least three sacks in a game twice versus ACC opponents, and he is one of only 19 players nationally with double-digit sacks for the season.

Complete voting for ACC Rookie of the Year honors was as follows:

ACC Rookie of the Year
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – 49
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami – 7
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville – 4

ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year
Sam Howell, QB, North Carolina – 54
Javian Hawkins, RB, Louisville – 4
Tyler Vrabel, OT, Boston College – 1
Jarren Williams, QB, Miami – 1

ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami – 51
Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson – 8
Shaka Heyward, LB, Duke – 1