Raise your hand if you thought that when freshman quarterback Chazz Surratt started his UNC career he would be a First-Team All-American by the time he was a senior. If your hand is up, lower your hand because there is a good chance you are lying. No offense to him, as there were many (systemic) reasons to have thought that it wasn’t possible, but now the senior linebacker version of Chazz Surratt has achieved such an accomplishment.
Yesterday it was announced that Surratt is a Street & Smith’s First-Team All-American.
This honor was bestowed upon Surratt following his fantastic first season for the Tar Heels as a linebacker. He finished the season with a team-leading 115 tackles, 66 solo tackles, 49 assisted tackles, 6.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception. This is all after he spent his freshman and sophomore seasons as a quarterback during the Larry Fedora era, with the sophomore year more or less being a wash thanks to an injury he sustained earlier in the season. When Mack Brown returned to UNC, the decision was made to have Surratt play on the other side of the ball altogether. It may have been the best decision of his life, as it is now very hard to see a path for him that doesn’t result in the NFL drafting him next spring.
It’s remarkable how the return of Brown has changed the conversation about Carolina Football, but it may be even more impressive how his return changed the way we talk about Surratt. It’s easy to say that he is the most exciting player returning to the roster, and if it weren’t for Sam Howell it’d be hard to argue that he also may be the most talented. His ability to disrupt opposing offenses has been remarkable so far, and one can only imagine what kind of havoc will ensue now that he has had another spring to perfect his craft. It’s unfortunate that we will only get two years of seeing him play in Jay Bateman’s defense, but I have no doubt that he will make this final season count.
What do you think of Surratt earning All-American honors? Do you think that there is still more preseason honors to come for him or other Tar Heels? let us know in the comments below.