With all but one game left in college football, it’s the season for players to announce whether or not they’ll return for one more year or test their stock in the NFL. With the Spring 2020 semester starting on Wednesday, if anyone for Carolina was considering leaving, they would have had to have made their decision so they could figure out how they were going to spend the next few months.
Two of UNC’s underclassmen specifically were candidates to forgo their last year at Carolina: wide receiver Dazz Newsome and linebacker Chazz Surratt. Newsome was coming off a stellar season of 1,000 receiving yards, and had what many could consider a perfect capper with his multiple highlight reel catches against Temple. You know Surratt’s story well by now, the former quarterback who completely switched sides of the ball and overachieved based on even the most optimistic projections. Despite Mack Brown saying he expected all UNC’s juniors to return, there were rumblings that both were contemplating moving on.
On Monday, both announced their decisions:
First-team All-ACC LB Chazz Surratt has confirmed via his Instagram page that he is returning for his senior season. #CarolinaFootball #BeTheOne pic.twitter.com/fZWGwJ0W3u— Carolina Football (@TarHeelFootball) January 6, 2020
Let’s rock em one more time pic.twitter.com/wfiBLRYL6J— Dazz Newsome (@dazznewsome05) January 6, 2020
The news means that on offense, Carolina will be returning all their key offensive weapons, including all four of UNC’s top receivers, and the unit should only improve with another spring and summer of working together with Sam Howell. On defense, Surratt’s return is huge as the defense looks to get better acclimated to Jay Bateman’s scheme while losing some key contributors, and incorporates new outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt.
With this news and the top 20 recruiting class signed by Mack Brown, some of whom are already on campus, it’s going to be impossible not to raise expectations for the 2020 season. Spring practice should be fun to follow.