Chazz Surratt

Former East Lincoln High School standout Chazz Surratt (21), pictured during a 2019 game against Pittsburgh, has been put on three different watch lists for national defensive player of the year awards.

North Carolina standout linebacker Chazz Surratt has been selected for The Butkus Award preseason watch list. The award honors the nation’s best linebacker.

Surratt, who was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list last week, was a first team All-ACC selection and finished runner-up for ACC Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2019. Surratt led North Carolina and ranked second in the ACC with 115 total tackles last season.

The Denver, North Carolina, native led the Tar Heels with 15.0 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. Additionally, Surratt’s 31 total pressures ranked seventh among Power 5 linebackers according to Pro Football Focus (PFF).

Semi-finalists are expected to be named November 2, finalists November 23, and winners on or before December 8. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.

Formed in 1985 and expanded in 2008, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. They include the I Play Clean® initiative promoting training and nutrition instead of performance-enhancing drugs, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults.

Surratt has also been placed on the preseason watch list for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree, announced earlier this week by The Football Writers Association of America, in conjunction with the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The Nagurski Trophy marks the third watch list Surratt has been selected for this month.

Players may be added or removed from the Nagurski watch list during the course of the season. As in previous years, the FWAA will announce a National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday this season. If not already on the watch list, each week’s honored player will be added at that time. The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.

The winner of the 2020 Bronko Nagurski Trophy presented by LendingTree as the National Defensive Player of the Year will be chosen from those five finalists. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association’s full membership, selects a 26-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski Trophy finalists. Committee members, by individual ballot, select the winner they regard as the best defensive player in college football.

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