Heavily sought-after Class of 2021 quarterback Drake Maye is blazing his own trail.
While many expected the 6-foot-4, 205-pound signal-caller to follow in the footsteps of his father, Mark, and brother, Luke, and suit up for the home-state North Carolina Tar Heels, Maye is headed to the SEC.
"I went down there twice, once in the spring and this summer, and it was nothing but positive," Maye said. "Sitting down and spending time with Coach [Nick] Saban, it's the best place to play football. Coach Saban had the most interaction with me when I went down there. He had a plan for me and showed great confidence in my ability to play quarterback at Alabama."
Maye, who also is a standout on the hardwood for Myers Park High in Charlotte, was offered by the Crimson Tide in March, and he made an unofficial visit in April and again in early June. He made multiple unofficial visits to North Carolina following the early April trip to Tuscaloosa before deciding on Alabama.
Maye becomes the fourth prospect from the state of North Carolina to pick Alabama in the Saban era, joining defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan (2011 class), NFL defensive tackle Jarran Reed (2014 via East Mississippi Community College) and running back B.J. Emmons (2016).
Maye also continues Alabama's run of nationally recruited quarterbacks under Saban. The Crimson Tide have had eight four-star signal-callers since 2013, with Maye a lock to become the ninth when the initial ESPN Junior 300 is released in the coming weeks.
Maye put up monster stats as a sophomore, completing 64.6% of his passes for 3,201 yards and 36 touchdowns with only five interceptions in leading Myers Park to the North Carolina 4AA state semifinals and helping set a school record of 13 wins.