We are constantly in search of the ‘next big thing’ and Chapel Hill, North Carolina has seemingly provided a window of opportunity to find it. A Power Five program but the little brother of some of college football’s blueblood institutions, North Carolina is the home of football’s next superstar, quarterback Drake Maye.
Just a redshirt freshman in his first year as the starter for head coach Mack Brown, Maye has evolved into one of the country’s most polarizing talents. An uber-athletic dual-threat signal-caller who has torn through the ACC like a hot knife, his skill set has quickly seen his name show up early on 2024 NFL Mock Drafts. In the first season for the Tar Heels following the departure of former quarterback Sam Howell, expectations remained lofty but not otherworldly as North Carolina handed over the keys to Maye this spring. Through eight weeks, he’s forced Carolina faithful to forget the past.
This Drake Maye pass is something else. Calm cool and collected as he evades pressure, does just enough to let Josh Downs break off, and flicks the wrist for a beautiful TD toss.
He makes this look easy. pic.twitter.com/Nf6LMUmhIB
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) October 30, 2022
It’s looked almost too easy at times for the 20-year-old former four-star prep talent. A native of Charlotte, a short drive from UNC’s campus, sitting behind Howell last fall allowed Maye to tinker with the finer details of the quarterback position from the sidelines. While his redshirt season kept his eligibility fresh, zero action last fall fused his onslaught on opposing defenses in 2022. He’s looked comfortable and fluid.
The best at the position are able to slow down the game and things have looked to move in slow motion for Maye so far this fall. His play has jumped off the screen every single week you flip on North Carolina. From his five-touchdown, turnover-free performance against Notre Dame to a similar outing last week against Pittsburgh, his 29 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions have placed him firmly in the Heisman discussion behind headliners in Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud and Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker. He’s been nothing short of spectacular— heroic, really, as his success in the ground game has presented a case of pick your poison for opposing defenses. No, he isn’t running like Louisville’s Malik Cunningham or Kansas State’s Adrian Martinez with his legs, but keeping teams off balance only to uncork 45-yard holeshots up the middle of the field is something unique to the collegiate game. And, something to keep in mind, he’s only played eight weeks.
Is Drake Maye a future #1 overall pick?
– 1st in total yds per game (380.14)
– 2nd in total touchdowns per game (3.86)
– 4th in adjusted yards per pass attempt (11.4)
– Highest BTT% among Power Five QBs
– 3rd in pass touchdown%
– Most comp 20+ yards in entire country
– FRESHMAN pic.twitter.com/0GqC2szjm5
— Mojo Markets (@mojo) October 28, 2022
Maye’s potential is untapped, and at just 20 years old, he has a performance ceiling as lofty as any we’ve seen at the position in a long while. Mobility, arm strength, footwork, processing, it’s all there when you look down to check the boxes on his impressive skill set.
While 2024 seems a long way away, enjoy him while you have him, college football crazies. Drake Maye is a one-of-one talent only now just scratching the surface of his truly immense potential.
- Dec 08, 2022
- Dec 08, 2022