GREENSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year in football is favored to win the award once again.
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye has been voted as the 2023 ACC Preseason Player of the Year after a breakout 2022 season that saw him win the league’s Rookie of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year in addition to the top individual award.
Expectations are high for the redshirt sophomore, who is coming off a season in which he became just the sixth college quarterback since 2010 to throw for at least 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns and rush for at least 650 yards and seven touchdowns.
Earlier this week, Maye and Duke quarterback Riley Leonard were named to the 2023 Maxwell Award watch list, which is awarded at the end of the season to the best all-around football player as voted by a panel of media members, NCAA coaches and Maxwell Club members.
Maye is joined on the 2023 Preseason All-ACC Football Team by fellow Tar Heels Tez Walker (wide receiver) and Cedric Gray (linebacker).
Three Duke Blue Devils also garnered preseason honors. Wide receiver Jalon Calhoun, offensive tackle Graham Barton and defensive tackle DeWayne Carter were all selected to the preseason team.
The trio are some of the most experienced players on Duke’s roster. Calhoun is a four-year starter and has 203 receptions for 2,360 yards and 13 touchdowns in 48 games. Barton is a three-year starter (30 starts), and Carter is a three-time team captain who has played in 39 career games.
NC State also has one player named to the team — cornerback Aydan White. The junior was named first-team All-ACC in 2022 after playing the most coverage snaps (482) in the country without allowing a touchdown, according to a release from the school.
Clemson led all programs with seven Tigers selected to the 27-player preseason squad. Florida State had the next most with four players. The team was voted on by 176 media members.