The starting quarterback battle between Drake Maye and Jacolby Criswell continues on this August as Week 0 approaches for the UNC football program.
While UNC has yet to name a starter and Mack Brown isn’t revealing too much on who the leader is, one publication believes Maye will be the starter and is the better of the two quarterbacks.
Athlon Sports released their annual list ranking 131 quarterbacks in college football, one per team, and they have Maye ranked in the Top 100. But it’s not a very high ranking as Maye checked in at No. 79 as the publication had this to say about the quarterback:
Sam Howell will be missed, but the cupboard isn’t bare at quarterback in Chapel Hill. Jacolby Criswell – a four-star prospect in the 2020 signing class – and Maye – the No. 56 prospect in the ’21 haul – are battling to replace Howell under center this fall. No starter was declared exiting spring ball, but the guess here is Maye holds an inside track to the No. 1 spot on the depth chart. The North Carolina native played in four contests as the No. 3 quarterback last fall to preserve his redshirt season. In those limited snaps, Maye completed seven of 10 passes for 89 yards and a score and ran for 62 yards on six attempts. Criswell played in 10 games over the last two years and also posted a strong performance in the limited sample size. The Arkansas native completed 16 of 25 throws for 195 yards and a score and added 94 rushing yards in that span. Whichever quarterback wins the job inherits a receiving corps set to return No. 1 target Josh Downs (101 catches in ’21) but is also working behind an offensive line with major question marks.
Maye was recently named a redshirt freshman to watch here in 2022 by 247Sports and he very well could prove Athlon Sports wrong. But the questions about lack of weapons on the offense and a shaky offensive line are valid.
It’s now up to Maye to prove Athlon Sports and the doubters wrong.
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