RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Two college quarterbacks in the Triangle have made a preseason award watch list.
The award, which has been given annually by the Maxwell Football Club since 1937, is presented to the college football athlete judged the best all-around player by a panel of sports media members, NCAA head coaches and members of the Maxwell Club.
After a spectacular start to his redshirt freshman campaign, Maye was added to the watch list halfway through last season and eventually became a semifinalist.
Maye was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2022 after throwing for 3,847 yards and 35 touchdowns. He also rushed for 629 yards and six touchdowns. According to a release from UNC, Maye is just the ninth FBS quarterback since 2010 to record 3,500 passing yards, 35 passing TDs, 500 rushing yards, and five rushing TDs in a season.
Leonard was also a dual-threat quarterback in 2022, leading Duke to a turnaround season and helping head coach Mike Elko earn ACC Coach of the Year. Leonard passed for 2,967 yards and 20 touchdowns during his sophomore season. He also had 699 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
The Duke signal caller saved his best for the final regular season game against Sam Hartman and Wake Forest when he threw for four touchdowns, including the game-winning score with just over two minutes left in the game.
Other ACC players on the 2023 watch list are Clemson running back Will Shipley, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and running back Trey Benson, Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer, Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec, Syracuse quarterback Garrett Shrader and tight end Oronde Gadsden and Wake Forest wide receiver Donavon Greene.
Caleb Williams of USC won last year’s Maxwell Award in addition to the Heisman Trophy.
No player from a North Carolina school has ever won the Maxwell Award.