By RYAN HERMAN
Chazz Surratt has just one career start as East Lincoln’s full-time varsity quarterback.
He also has an equal number of Division I scholarship offers.
Surratt, who ran for four touchdowns and threw for another in the Mustangs’ season-opening win last week, received a formal scholarship offer to play football at North Carolina on Tuesday, East Lincoln head coach Mike Byus said.
Surratt, only a sophomore, is being recruited as a do-it-all athlete.
“He’s just a ballplayer. He just likes to go play,” Byus said. “It doesn’t matter what position he’s playing or what sport he’s playing, he just wants to go play and have fun. He’s that type of kid that enjoys competition.”
Unofficially, Surratt ran for 161 yards and four TDs on 17 carries, and was 14 of 26 passing for 136 yards and a TD in East Lincoln’s 37-22 win at East Gaston on Friday.
To date, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound preseason 2A all-state pick by NCPreps.com has 2,126 total offensive yards, unofficially, and 31 TDs in his short high school career.
Tuesday’s offer didn’t completely catch Byus off guard, but given his quarterback’s youth, it did come early.
“When you verbally offer a kid who’s just a sophomore, it’s obviously just that,” Byus said. “It just lets him know that (the Tar Heels) are interested and they have their eye on him and gives him a little bit of comfort, really, as far as knowing that somebody’s out there interested in him.”
While Surratt’s offer gives him at least one option for life after high school, it also helps the entire East Lincoln program.
Byus said when potential colleges and recruiters view film of Surratt or show up to scout the Mustangs’ practices and games, they get a glimpse of players they may not have otherwise come across.
Knowing that makes their players play even harder.
“Anytime you bring a little visibility into your program it helps all the kids,” Byus said. “That should be exciting for all the kids. They’re a part of the whole thing from a team standpoint.”
The Tar Heels’ offer to Surratt gives them two outstanding offers to Lincoln County high school athletes.
North Carolina, which opens its season at South Carolina on Thursday, has also extended an offer to Lincolnton junior defensive end Darian Roseboro, considered the best defensive end in the state in the class of 2015.
“I know he’s excited about it,” Byus said of Surratt. “He’s excited and his parents are excited.”