Dec 11, 2023 - News

UNC quarterback Drake Maye, a Myers Park alum, declares for the NFL Draft

Drake Maye gives a thumbs up in a UNC warm-up shirt

Drake Maye warms up against for UNC's season-opener against South Carolina at Bank of America Stadium on September 02, 2023. Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Drake Maye, who just four years ago was bouncing through the halls of Myers Park High School in Charlotte, will enter the 2024 NFL Draft, ESPN reported Monday.

  • The North Carolina quarterback could be the No. 1 overall pick, several experts say.

Why it matters: Time will tell, but the 21-year-old Maye seems poised to become the next superstar pro athlete from Charlotte, joining names such as NBA legend and Charlotte Christian grad Stephen Curry.

  • He could also add to the list of starting NFL quarterbacks from the region: Washington Commanders starter Sam Howell, one of Maye’s closest friends, is from Monroe; and the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones went to Charlotte Latin.

Also in recent days, UNC receiver and West Charlotte High School graduate Tez Walker accepted an invitation to the Senior Bowl and will enter the draft.

Driving the news: In a post on X, Maye said he will not play in UNC’s bowl game, which happens to be the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in his hometown.

  • Of note: He did not indicate the decision was related to the threat of mayo bath afterward.
  • He also thanked his UNC coaches and family and friends.

Flashback: Drake is the youngest of four Maye brothers who grew up in Huntersville, all of whom played college sports. Older brothers Luke and Beau played basketball at UNC.

  • Drake originally committed to Alabama, but in a move that rattled the college football world, flipped to UNC in March 2020.
  • COVID spoiled his senior season at Myers Park the following fall. The NCHSAA moved football to spring 2021, but Maye decided to enroll at UNC early instead.
  • He quickly became a Tar Heels’ star, and as a redshirt freshman in 2022 was named ACC player of the year, among many other honors.

Zoom out: UNC has never had a No. 1 overall pick, but the program has produced four players taken second, including Lawrence Taylor and Julius Peppers.

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