UNC Football Class of 2016 Signee: QB Chazz Surratt

Inside Carolina takes a closer look at the Tar Heel signee.

BIO: Named The Associated Press offensive player of the year in North Carolina • Gatorade state player of the year • Two-time first-team AP all-state selection • MaxPreps national small schools player of the year • Broke the state record for career total yards with 16,593 and also owns the state record for touchdown responsibility with 229 career scores • Threw for 3,536 yard and 51 touchdowns with 10 interceptions during his senior season • Also ran for 1,345 yards and 15 more scores • Led East Lincoln, the reigning 2-AA champion, to 30 straight wins • Broke the state record for total offense held previously by Charlotte Independence quarterback and three-time state champion Chris Leak • Named the 2014 and 2015 North Carolina Prep Player of the Year (only two-time winner) • Wendy’s High School All-America • Finished second for AP player of the year voting as a junior • All-state selection in basketball as a junior

LEAD UNC RECRUITER: Keith Heckendorf

RECRUITMENT: Duke-UNC recruiting battles are typically saved for basketball prospects. But, the two Tobacco Road Rivals were constants throughout much of Surratt’s recruitment. As such, he made numerous trips to both campuses. Temporarily, UNC took itself out of the race when Logan Byrd committed, producing Surratt’s April pledge to the Blue Devils. However, when UNC decided to take a second quarterback within the class, Surratt was the first prospect it contacted. In late June, he flipped his place in the rivalry by switching his commitment to UNC.

WHY CAROLINA: “I think as a player, I fit the mold at quarterback at Carolina, so I wasn’t really worried about coming in with another player. Coach Heck continued to recruit me hard – even when I was committed to Duke. … I just grew up a Tar Heel. They showed me a lot of love every time I come down there. And then with the football team not going to be touched (by the NCAA) and then the [basketball] preferred walk-on spot, I couldn’t turn that down. And my family loves UNC. I thought it was a great decision.”

EVALUATION: First and foremost, Surratt is an unflappable gamer – East Lincoln compiled a 55-5 win-loss record when he was in the lineup (and its basketball team went 24-1 and reached the state title with him in the starting five). The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder is a big athlete who could develop into a fine quarterback within an offensive system that looks for its QB to contribute with his feet nearly as much as his arm. The southpaw is equally efficient with touch throws as he is with velocity passes – and he knows when to use each. Given his athleticism, he could easily play several other positions if QB doesn’t work out – specifically linebacker.

HS COACH QUOTES: "He's one of those kids that are so versatile that he could do anything at any position. He just has that natural build and he has that quickness. He could be going 100 miles per hour, cut, and then return to top speed. He's such a quality passer as well as a rusher. We have multiple reads on almost every play. Some are pass-first run-second, some are run-first pass-second, and some are pass reads on both sides. We may quick read one side and intermediate read the other side. Yes, we have designed quarterback runs, yes, we have options for him to [hand it off] or run or pass, but he'll sit in that pocket and throw, too. He likes throwing and disrupting. So he goes through his progressions and makes reads and does a good job.” — Mike Byus, East Lincoln HS

UNC QB COACH KEITH HECKENDORF: "Chazz is a thrower first, who makes plays with his arm and his head, but has the ability that when plays break down and things aren’t quite right he can extend the play. To be honest with you he can make something special happen when plays break down."

UNC HEAD COACH LARRY FEDORA: “We’ve said it from the beginning that you’ve got to keep the great players within the state at home for us to have great success. We’re thrilled to have him. As a starter he’s won 30 games and won the state championship last year. He’s done tremendous things. He’s another guy that can run and throw. We’re not going to recruit guys that can do one or the other. We’re always going to search out the guys who can do both because I believe it’s much harder to defend somebody that can beat you any way.”

INSIDE THE COMMITMENT: On March 28, uncommitted prospects Logan Byrd and Chazz Surratt stood side by side on the sidelines of Navy Practice Field observing UNC’s penultimate spring scrimmage. Although the pair sported identical navy Tar Heel winter jackets, neither expected to see their names side by side on UNC’s commitment list three months later.… Read the full subscriber-only report

Inside Carolina Top Stories