The 2022 college football season just ended earlier this month, with Georgia winning the national title for a second consecutive year. Still, it's never too early to start looking ahead at the 2023 season.
Quarterback play is often what makes or breaks a team's season. As we preview the upcoming campaign, there are a number of talented signal-callers returning to campus.
Let's take a look at the best quarterback from each conference. We'll go alphabetically by conference for this one.
AAC: Memphis' Seth Henigan
Memphis didn't have the best season in 2022, finishing 7-6 with a bowl win over Utah State in the First Responder Bowl. But a bright spot was how sophomore quarterback Seth Henigan played during the season.
The Tigers QB finished with 3,571 passing yards and 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions. He finished third in the AAC in passing yards, behind seniors Clayton Tune from Houston and ECU's Holton Ahlers, both of whom are heading to the NFL.
Henigan had two games with over 400 yards passing in 2022, the first of which came in Week 2 against Navy when he completed 70.6 of his passes for 415 yards and two touchdowns. Then during Memphis' 47-45 quadruple overtime loss to ECU, Henigan finished with 407 yards passing, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Henigan will have to deal with some losses in the receiving corps next season. His leading receiver from last season, Eddie Lewis, has transferred to South Carolina, while his second go-to guy, tight end Caden Prieskorn, has transferred to Ole Miss. Despite those losses, the signal-caller could have another big year if he can maintain his momentum from his sophomore campaign.
ACC: North Carolina's Drake Maye
It shouldn't be too surprising who's on this list for the ACC, right? Redshirt freshman Drake Maye had a sensational season in 2022, throwing for 4,321 yards, 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
He led the ACC in passing yards en route to breaking the UNC single-season record previously held by Mitchell Tribusky, who threw for 3,748 yards in 2016. Drake's 39 career passing touchdowns already puts him at seventh all-time in program history, and his 38 passing scores from this past season tied the single-season school record too.
Maye can make plays with his feet when he needs to as well, rushing for 698 yards and seven touchdowns this past season.
The QB's best game came during UNC's 36-34 win over Wake Forest on Nov. 12. He finished the game with a whopping 448 passing yards, 71 rushing yards and four total touchdowns.
The QB helped lead the Tar Heels to their first ACC title game since 2015 and a Holiday Bowl berth against Oregon. Although there were rumors that Maye might transfer following the 2022 season—including a claim by Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi that Maye was offered a pair of $5 million NIL deals to transfer—Maye is staying put in Chapel Hill. Both of the QB's parents went to UNC.
"It wouldn't sit right, especially with all my family…" Maye told Pete Thamel of ESPN of transferring in December. "Switching it up after everything the Mayes went through wouldn't represent what the university means to me or how much it means for me to go there. It'd mess up the mojo and all we've built there. That Carolina blue is special. There's no other color in the world that meaningful."
We'll see how far Maye can take the Tar Heels in 2023. He'll be coached under a new offensive coordinator in Chip Lindsey, who was hired from UCF to replace Phil Longo. It shouldn't matter much who's calling the plays for Maye to have another big season.