Updated: Mar 7, 2020
There has been a lot of excitement around this 2021 Tar Heel recruiting class in recent weeks, but on Friday it may have hit its peak. The recruiting and general college football world is buzzing after the Tar Heels flipped the commitment of Tar Heel legacy and prized recruit, Drake Maye, from Alabama. His commitment to Alabama last summer was a bit surprising, but Mack Brown and the staff’s relentlessness and the family ties to the program and university were just too much to ignore.
The Tar Heels now have a decorated quarterback for the third time in the last three classes, something that is a great sign for a program that struggled to consistently land quarterbacks at the end of the previous regime. Maye, the No. 6 PRO in 2021 class according to 247Sports Composite rankings, enters his senior season off of a huge junior season at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC. In thirteen games in 2019, Maye threw for 3,512 yards, 50 touchdowns and just two interceptions while completing 72.4% of his passes. Those stats were enough to earn him Gatorade Player of the Year honors for the state of North Carolina, as well as offensive player of the year honors in the Southwestern 4A conference and All-Observer honors in the Charlotte area while setting multiple school records. Prior to his amazing junior season, Maye had a strong sophomore season with the Mustangs, throwing for 3,201 yards, 36 touchdowns and just five interceptions, earning Southwestern 4A all-conference honors.
Maye is a fantastic fit for this Phil Longo offense and should have fans jumping out of their seats. The No. 56 overall player in the 2021 class boasts a strong arm and great touch on his passes, especially on the short passes, as he leads receivers as well as any quarterback in this class, allowing his playmakers to make plays in space. As a sophomore, he did almost all of his damage from inside the pocket, but he became much more comfortable as a junior making things happen on the move. His footwork looks to be in very good shape, especially for a high school quarterback. While Maye doesn’t use his legs to pick up yards often, he is a better athlete than the rushing stats tell you. At 6’5, 210 lbs., the Tar Heels will likely try to add some more weight to his frame, but Maye will enter campus as the favorite to replace Howell whenever his career at Carolina comes to an end.
With Maye’s commitment, the Tar Heels’ 2021 class is now ranked as the No. 6 class in the nation according to 247Sports Composite team rankings, but will still remain 3rd in the ACC rankings behind Clemson and Miami. This is a major addition for the Tar Heels in this 2021 class and will only help to continue momentum with some of the other major in-state targets.