Bruce Young THI
CHAPEL HILL - A dream came true on Saturday in Chapel Hill as the next phase of 2-time NCPreps.com Player of the Year Chazz Surratt career began. The 6-3 lefty quarterback, who grew up a Tar Heel fan was inserted into the North Carolina lineup during the third series of the Tar Heels’ opening game against the California Golden Bears. There was a huge roar in the crowd as Surratt, a local legend from small town Denver (NC), stepped under center about midway through the first quarter and gained 8-yards on the first play of his career.
When asked about his experience in his first game, Surratt stated, “First couple of snaps were surreal….to be honest to be out there lining up and taking snaps in my first college game. I was well prepared. Our whole quarterback room was well prepared. We have been diagraming this game for the past two weeks and we were all anxious and excited. I had a lot of confidence going in.”
Surratt came to the University North Carolina from East Lincoln High School with a collection of local, state, and national honors. One of those honors included the Parade National Player of the Year after shattering numerous records in the North Carolina high school record book.
Kenan Stadium is a different stage that Surratt has been used to in showcasing his skills, but he seemed calm and poised for most of his playing time. He made two option pitches to freshman running back Michael Carter that went for scores to give the Tar Heels a 17-7 in the first half.
After California rallied to take a 21-17 lead, Surratt threw his first official touchdown when he hit Thomas Jackson with a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Tar Heels up 24-21 heading into the fourth quarter. “It felt good to get that first one (touchdown) with a good buddy of mine,” said Surratt. He later scored the final touchdown of the game on a 1-yard keeper as time expired in the 35-30 Golden Bear win.
In the game, Surratt finished 16 carries for 67 yards with a touchdown and completed 18 of 28 passes for 161 yards with a touchdown. When asked about his performance, he stated, “I just go out there and play, but I think I did a good job of managing the game.”
Surratt and the Tar Heels (0-1) will host Louisville and 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson next Saturday in Chapel Hill.