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Drake Maye disappointed UNC didn't win more, but he hasn't lost any confidence

Drake Maye has spent time around Philip Rivers and Eli Manning, trying to pick their brains about being an NFL quarterback.

Manning, in fact, has become something of a mentor for the North Carolina quarterback.

"A big fan," Maye said Friday. "Eli would probably say he's probably seen me too much. I've been following him around. It's always on Zooms. I think the biggest thing is just being a sponge, soaking it all in. I don't have all the answers. I don't know it all. Just being up there with Eli, and David Morris, training with him down there in Alabama, he was his backup at Ole Miss, so just kind of a small world of connections and just trying to soak it all up."

Maye is one of the top quarterback prospects and is expected to go early on draft day. He threw for 7,929 passing yards and 62 touchdowns the past two seasons as the Tar Heels' starter.

UNC, though, went only 9-5 in 2022 and then 8-5 in 2023 despite being ranked as 10th at one point. The Tar Heels lost the bowl game the past two years, too.

Maye admits disappointment at being able to deliver better results.

"Yeah, I think that's the biggest thing," Maye said. "I think the biggest stat for quarterbacks is wins and losses. I had some games at the end of the game where I could have gone down there and made a few more plays to impact the win column. At the same time, I wouldn't redo anything. I put it all out there and left it all out there."

He insists he has lost no confidence despite the results.

"Kind of a learning experience," Maye said. "At the end of day, shoot, you have to go back out there and take one play at a time and just have confidence in myself."

Maye could sit as a rookie, something he did at North Carolina behind Sam Howell. Whatever the team that drafts him wants, he's all in.

"I think it's something that I think would an advantage," Maye said of not starting right away as a rookie. "There are always two sides to it. It can be a huge help. You see guys who where it works out like Jordan Love. In some instances, you see guys like C.J. [Stroud] right away can be successful. Whatever they think, I'm ready for both ways. I'm ready to go in there and compete and be the starter. Obviously, I'm going have that [starter] mindset either way, but at the same time, I know these guys get paid a lot of money to make these decisions."