CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina star quarterback Drake Maye attracted the biggest media scrum so far at this week’s ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte. Fame has come quickly for the Queen City native, a year ago at this time Maye was far from the Heisman Trophy candidate he is today.

“One year ago today I was in a battle (for the starting job at UNC) competing every day and now I’m sitting here, it’s been crazy,” said Maye.

It’s almost a foregone conclusion this will be Maye’s final year of college football – that’s the outside narrative. Coming off a season that saw him pass for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns, Maye will be eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft and is projected as a consensus top-10 pick. But according to Maye, another year in Chapel Hill is not out of the question.

“Coming back is definitely in the question,” said Maye. “This is just my third year and I want to graduate. Coming back and playing for this great University but also my dream is to play in the NFL. North Carolina is a special place for me so I could see myself playing five years here.”

That would certainly make Tar Heels head coach Mack Brown and UNC fans happy, but don’t hold your breath. Brown realizes he has a generational quarterback and it’s only a matter of time before he heads off to the NFL.

“Drake had a great year last year, the best freshman year of any freshman I’ve ever seen,” said Brown. “After the season, Drake came to me and said help me with these things, these are things I need to improve and that’s how he is, it’s why he’s such a great player.”