2018 produced a strange series of events for Chazz Surratt. The favorite to be North Carolina’s starting quarterback, Surratt was among 13 Tarheel football players that served a suspension for selling team-issued sneakers.
After sitting out four games, Surratt started at quarterback in his first game back against Miami. Completing just 4-of-10 passes for 10 yards, Surrat threw three interceptions before injuring his wrist which required season-ending surgery.
Following the injury, discussions between Surratt and then head coach Larry Fedora began regarding a switch to the defensive side of the football. Despite considering a transfer to another university to continue as a quarterback, Surratt met with newly hired head coach Mack Brown regarding his status with the program.
Surratt told Brown that it was his goal to play in the NFL and both agreed his best course was to make the transition to linebacker. Already measuring 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Surratt put on 15 pounds over the offseason to prepare for life at linebacker.
A prep star, Surratt was Parade Magazine’s national football player of the year in 2016 after setting new North Carolina High School records for career total yardage (16,953) and touchdowns responsible for (229).
The first opportunity for Surratt to take the field at his new position came in April for UNC’s spring game where he racked up four tackles and a quarterback sack. He continued his development over the course of the offseason and earned a starting spot for the Heels. Over his first two games at his new position, Surratt has racked up 17 tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack while North Carolina boasts a 2-0 mark in Brown’s return to Chapel Hill.
Surratt will look to keep the momentum going in Week Three when the Heels travel to Winston-Salem for a Friday Night Date with Wake Forest who have also claimed victories in their first two contests of the season.
In a rare non-conference matchup between Wake Forest and UNC, Surratt is quite familiar with one of the Demon Deacons top offensive playmakers - his brother, Sage. Producing a whopping 713 passing yards across the first two games of the year, Wake Forest has out-produced every team in the ACC and ranks tenth nationally. With 203 receiving yards and two touchdowns, Sage Surratt is a big reason why. Dating back to last season, Surratt has hauled in a touchdown reception in four consecutive games.
Like his older brother Chazz’s path to becoming an NFL prospect at linebacker for UNC, Sage’s course to becoming a star receiver at Wake Forest caught many by surprise.
A basketball star at Lincolnton High School, Surratt finished his career as North Carolina’s No. 2 scorer in stat history with 2,951 career points. As a senior, Surratt had seven 40-points plus games, three 50-points plus games and broke his own single-game scoring record with 57 against Bandys High School.
Surratt was committed to Harvard before changing his mind to focus on football and committed to Wake Forest. Surratt believed Wake’s business program was superior to Harvard and he loved the idea of playing football in a Power Five conference.
As for basketball, Surratt is finished with the hardcourt. For as impressive as his high school basketball career was, his football resume is arguably better. Surratt is North Carolina’s career record holder in receptions (366), yards (5,926) and touchdown receptions (80). In his final season, Surratt was North Carolina’s AP Offensive Player of the Year after catching 129 passes for 2,104 yards and scoring 28 touchdowns. Those marks for receptions and yards are both single-season state records.
Both Surratt brothers have aspirations of playing at the next level, and they are certainly making their mark in college. While neither took their initial outlined path, both have made wise transitions and are emerging on a national stage. It will be a treat to see them compete on Friday Night, but the next time we see the two matchup is likely to come on a Sunday afternoon.