Linebacker Chazz Surratt of the North Carolina football team was named to the watchlist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy — an award denoting the best defensive player in college football — Tuesday, marking the third watchlist he was recognized for during the 2020 preseason.
Surratt had also been named to the preseason watchlists for the Butkus Award for the best linebacker and the Chuck Bednarik Award — another annual award given to the nation's top defensive player. All three of Surratt’s watchlist selections have come in July, as UNC attempts its return to the field amid COVID-19.
Entering his senior season, Surratt will look to build on the momentum of a breakout 2019 campaign. After playing quarterback his first two years in Chapel Hill, Surratt transitioned to linebacker and recorded 115 total tackles, including 6.5 sacks. His 115 tackles and 15 tackles-for-loss ranked 2nd and 5th in the ACC, respectively.
Surratt was named to the All-ACC first team and was the runner-up for the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award.
Surratt has garnered praise from NFL scouts after just one season at linebacker. ESPN’s Mel Kiper has the senior listed as the No. 2 inside linebacker for the 2021 draft. Surratt looks set to be not only in the conversation for the best defender in the ACC, but could also looked at as a top defensive prospect in the country by the end of the season.