Drake Maye is one of several Tar Heels who earned preseason All-ACC honors from Athlon Sports this week.

Maye and linebacker Cedric Gray were the only 2 Carolina players to receive first-team nods, however.

Maye enters this season as one of the favorites to win the 2023 Heisman Trophy. He was a strong contender for the award a year ago before falling off the radar due to a late-season swoon.

Last season — his 1st as a starter — Maye threw for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns. He led Carolina to a 9-win season in its first campaign without quarterback Sam Howell. Maye also excelled despite consistent injuries to UNC’s wide receiver corps in 2022.

Gray was one of Carolina’s few bright spots on the defensive side of the ball last season. He made 145 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions and 6 pass deflections. He’s expected to be one of the league’s top linebackers again in 2023.

In total, Athlon Sports published 4 preseason All-ACC teams. Here are UNC’s representatives on the other 3 squads:

Second-team preseason All-ACC

  • TE Bryson Nesbit
  • LB Power Echols
  • P Ben Kiernan

Third-team preseason All-ACC

  • RB Elijah Green
  • WR Devontez Walker
  • OL Spencer Rolland
  • K Ryan Coe

Fourth-team preseason All-ACC

  • RB Omarion Hampton
  • TE Kamari Morales
  • OL Corey Gaynor
  • LB Kaimon Rucker