East Lincoln quarterback Chazz Surratt, one of North Carolina’s top college prospects, will be a two-sport athlete at the college level after committing to play at North Carolina.
According to published reports, Surratt had verbally committed to play football for Duke in April. But he backed out of that commitment in late June, and committed to play for the Tar Heels.
“It’s just the relationship I had with Carolina’s coaches,” Surratt told The Charlotte Observer, “and I have been following them (and the NCAA issues). Last week, they said it was looking good and the lawyers were saying it wasn’t going to touch football. That re-opened my thought process.”
According to The Observer report, Surratt said he would have committed to North Carolina, but the NCAA investigation into the school’s long-running academic scandal had worried him.
However, Surratt said he changed his mind after talking with the Tar Heels’ football coaches about the potential for sanctions. In addition, he said North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams promised him a walk-on spot.
“I spoke to the Duke coaches earlier (June 25),” Surratt told The Observer. “They were pretty upset, as you would probably expect. I felt like this was a good decision for me. Carolina would’ve been my first choice if not for the allegations.
“I have grown up being a Tar Heel fan. My family are Tar Heels fans. I really liked everything about it when I went to visit. I just felt like it was a good fit at UNC.”
Surratt is ranked 32nd in the nation among quarterback prospects and second in North Carolina, according to national recruiting website Scout.com.
In addition to the offers from Duke and North Carolina, Surratt received offers from Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Tennessee, Wake Forest and West Virginia.
The 6-foot-2 Surratt has played a role in both of East Lincoln’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 2AA state championships.
As a freshman, he was a starter at wide receiver as the Mustangs went 16-0 and won the school’s first NCHSAA state title. Surratt took over as starting quarterback the next year, and as a junior led East Lincoln to another 16-0 season and its second state title.
Last season, Surratt threw for 4,338 yards and 51 touchdowns, and ran for 1,239 yards and 22 touchdowns.
Surratt, along with younger brother Sage, were key players on the Mustangs’ basketball team’s run to the NCHSAA 2AA state final before losing to Kinston, the Mustangs’ only loss that season.
Girls hoops coach
Denver’s Lincoln Charter, which has made the state playoffs the past two years, has named Kimberly Allen the school’s new varsity girls basketball coach.
Allen replaces Franklin Lowery, who compiled a 66-27 record, including a school record 23-3 mark and the Southern Piedmont 1A title in 2014, in four seasons with the Eagles.
Compiled by Bill Kiser