UNC Football: Chazz Surratt racking up preseason honors

UNC football linebacker and defensive standout Chazz Surratt continues to garner preseason accolades.

University of North Carolina linebacker Chazz Surratt added to his growing list of accolades on Thursday when he was named to the Sporting News 2020 college football preseason All-American team.

“Surratt made the switch from quarterback to linebacker last season and he thrived in the new position under defensive coordinator Jay Bateman,” Sporting News’ Bill Bender writes. “Surratt finished with 115 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Surratt will continue to be an impact player for a program on the rise in the ACC Coastal.”

His latest honor comes just a week after being named a preseason first team All-American by Street & Smith’s, and two weeks since Athlon Sports picked him as an All-ACC first team selection for the 2020 season. And both come just a season after Surratt, a former backup quarterback for the Tar Heels, made the switch to the defensive side of the football. In the time since, he’s performed as well as any linebacker in the country. Subsequently named a first team All-ACC performer in 2019, Surratt was runner-up for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year award.

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Surratt finished the season with 115 total tackles — 66 solo tackles and 49 assists — to go along with 15 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. He was the unquestioned leader of a UNC defense that improved substantially from a season ago, and looks to be even better this season in head coach Mack Brown’s second year back in Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels will rely on more of the same from Surratt in 2020 as they hope to capture an ACC Coastal Division title for the first time since 2015. They appear to be the overwhelming favorite to do so at this point, and much of that is thanks to the defensive prowess of Surratt. He’s currently projected as a first round selection in the 2021 NFL Draft according to ESPN NFL Draft expert Mel Kiper, Jr., who lists the rising senior as the No. 2 inside linebacker prospect in the draft.

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For all the latest on Chazz Surratt and the UNC football team, stick with Keeping It Heel.

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