For Chazz Surratt, It's Title or Bust

UNC quarterback commitment Chazz Surratt aims to continue his prolific passing, rushing and winning this season.

DENVER, N.C. --- With his recruitment completely wrapped up, North Carolina pledge Chazz Surratt heads into his final high school season soley focused on leading East Lincoln to its third NCHSAA 2A State Championship in four years.

“We’re expecting a good year,” Surratt said. “We put in a lot of hard work in the summer. And we’re expecting to get back there to the championship game – that’s the plan for this season, like it is every year. So we’re expecting a good year this year.”

Surratt, a 6-foot-3, 197-pound quarterback, has reason to be confident. Since he became part of East Lincoln in 2012, the Mustangs have lost two games on the field (it was also forced to forfeit the first three games of 2013).

“We think we have a good shot, as long as we prepare for each game,” Surratt said. “Our mindset is to win them all. That’s the goal right now.”

The biggest change for Surratt this season will occur with his defensive workload. Whereas the offense returns seven starters – including Surratt at quarterback, its top three rushers from 2014, and three receivers who caught at least 30 balls a year ago – the defense has to replace six.

“I’ll probably play a little bit more defense this year, because I’m 100-percent healthy this year,” Surratt said. “And we’re thinner at outside linebacker this year.”

Surratt played outside linebacker on occasion last season specifically to apply pressure on the quarterback. In his limited opportunities, he collected ten tackles, including two for a loss.

Make no mistake about it, though, Surratt will chiefly be looked to for his offensive production. His 5,577 all-purpose yards in 2014 accounted for 82-percent of East Lincoln’s offensive output. He also scored 73 of the team’s 86 touchdowns. One expects him to lead the Mustangs in passing, but he was also its top rusher by a large margin.

“I pretty much know the entire offense,” Surratt said. “I’m just progressing in my reads and my footwork – and I’ve been working on that.”

Some of that “work” was done in July at UNC’s final camp of the summer under the guidance of Keith Heckendorf, the Tar Heels’ quarterbacks coach.

“Sometimes I lean my shoulders tilted up,” Surratt said. “He wants me to keep my shoulders level, which will make sure [the ball] doesn’t sail.”

Outside of spending time with Heckendorf and Larry Fedora, Surratt’s July visit included meeting fellow UNC verbal commitments Tyrone Hopper and Noah Turner, who were also in town.

“It was good to meet them face to face,” Surratt said.

Surratt plans to return to Chapel Hill for each of UNC’s home games this fall. Furthermore, he and his parents are working out details to potentially attend the Tar Heels’ season opener in Charlotte against South Carolina.

If Surratt does anything with recruiting in the coming months it will be aiding in UNC’s efforts. After missing on Divine Deablo, Surratt was one of the last people to communicate with Jonathan Smith prior to the linebacker committing to UNC on Friday.

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