Analysts around the nation believe Maye has a good chance at being one of the last names remaining in the Heisman race while potentially being the first name called in the 2024 NFL draft. ESPN is joining the party, giving their college football conference predictions and hinting at what Maye needs to do to be crowned the Heisman winner at season end.
Here is what ESPN predicted for Maye.
Maye wins the Heisman: In his first season as a starter, Maye threw for 4,321 yards with 38 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner, USC’s Caleb Williams, and Maye were the only FBS quarterbacks to throw for 4,000 yards with at least 35 touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions last season. Chip Lindsey takes over the offensive playcalling after coordinator Phil Longo left for Wisconsin. Maye’s top receivers from last season, Josh Downs and Antoine Green, left for the NFL. Adding former Georgia Tech receiver Nate McCollum will help tremendously, and the Tar Heels are still hoping to get Kent State transfer Devontez Walker eligible. The Tar Heels have to do a better job protecting Maye after he was sacked 40 times last season.
It is always lovely seeing Tar Heels get their flowers, especially in a season with a rough ending. The protection needed for Maye is spot on, and winning the Heisman will largely depend on that.