When the All-ACC teams were announced on Tuesday, they offered us a hint as to who voters in the conference felt were the best in the league. On Wednesday, the players of the year would be announced, and the only question was if it would be Drake Maye, Calijah Kancey from Pitt, or Will Shipley of Clemson would take down the overall Player of the Year based on the votes they got for the first team.
Wonder no more. The ACC has announced that Drake Maye is not only your Offensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, but your overall Player of the Year for the ACC.
The redshirt freshman is the first Tar Heel to win the honor since Lawrence Taylor in 1980, coincidentally, the last time the Tar Heels won the conference.
The Tar Heels in their release note that Maye is the first player to win the triple crown of offensive, rookie, and overall Player of the Year since Jameis Winston in 2013. Those two are the only ones who have taken down that trio of awards in the same year, and Maye is also only the second freshman to have won the overall Player of the Year award.
In the voting, Maye won offensive and overall Player of the Year in a runaway, and Cedric Gray actually ended up getting three votes for Defensive Player of the Year. The Rookie of the Year honor was even more of a runaway, with Maye getting 61 of 65 possible votes. For awards that usually have a home team tilt to them, the fact Maye won going away speaks to just how the conference as a whole feel his importance to the Tar Heels was and just how special a season he had.
The win also gives Maye the right to have his number 10 honored up in Kenan Stadium:
Maye and the rest of the Tar Heels will be center stage this Saturday against Clemson in the ACC Championship game. He’ll be looking to add one more piece of hardware to his collection, but most likely he’ll just be happy to be standing at midfield raising the last championship trophy based on divisions.