One of UNC’s top in-state football targets set aside two generations of Tar Heel family ties in announcing this week that he’ll play at Alabama.
Myers Park High’s Drake Maye, a rising junior and one of the country’s top quarterbacks in the Class of 2021, announced his decision Wednesday on Twitter.
“Committed to The University of Alabama! Roll Tide,” he wrote, adding an elephant emoji.
Several recruiting services pegged Maye for North Carolina, where dad Mark played quarterback, his brother, Luke, was an All-American basketball player last season, and where head football coach Mack Brown has returned to rebuild the program.
Drake Maye told the Observer in May that Carolina was not his leader. He also may have dropped a hint of his ultimate destination with this comment. “I just want to enjoy the process,” Maye said at the time.
“The Process” is what Alabama coach Nick Saban calls his coaching techniques to prepare his players for football and life.
Currently, Maye is listed as the composite 51st best recruit in his class and the fifth-rated quarterback by the recruiting service, 247 Sports. Entering his junior season, Maye continues to grow physically and is now listed at 6 foot 5 and 205 pounds.
As a sophomore, Maye led Myers Park to one of the Mustangs’ best seasons, setting a school record for wins (13) while reaching the N.C. 4AA semifinals. Maye threw for 3,201 yards and 36 touchdowns, and ran for two more scores.
Myers Park coach Scott Chadwick told the Observer in May that the recruiting surge for his quarterback and other returning members of his team was growing.
“I used to coach in Maryland, and one time, I had the No. 1 offensive line prospect in the country,” Chadwick said.
“And that was pretty crazy. But we had 120 coaches come to our school in four weeks. It’s not just Drake. We’ve got other good players. But (earlier this month), the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach from Stanford got on a plane, flew to Charlotte, watched Drake practice, and flew back.”
Along with UNC, Maye reported had offers from Ohio State, Clemson, Georgia and N.C. State, among other schools.
His commitment is not binding, and it will be almost 18 months before Maye can sign scholarship papers with any school. That gives Brown and his staff plenty of time to keep recruiting him.
Meanwhile, Drake Maye is following in his father’s footsteps. More than 40 years ago, Mark Maye’s decision on where he would play college football came down to two finalists:
Alabama and UNC.