A few years ago, the Surratt brothers were the biggest sports news in Lincoln County. Chazz Surratt led the East Lincoln Mustangs to a state championship his junior year before being hurt late in the season his senior year--an injury that likely cost the Mustangs another state championship.
Brother Sage was an outstanding receiver at East Lincoln before transferring to Lincolnton High School where he won the state MVP in both football and basketball his senior year.
Chazz had a less than stellar start at UNC. The team was overloaded at the quarterback position. So he made the switch to linebacker. In his new position, he gave the Tarheels a defensive prowess they had lost. He finished the season with 115 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks.
Brother Sage was meanwhile becoming a super receiver at Wake Forest until he was sidelined with an injury.
There's reason to question whether or not there will actually be a 2020 college football season, but if there is, both of the Surratt brothers are poised for All-ACC and possibly All-American honors.
Week before last, Chazz Surratt was named to the Sporting News 2020 college football preseason All-American team.
That came just a week after he was named a preseason first team All-American by Street & Smith’s, and two weeks after Athlon Sports chose him as an All-ACC first team selection for the 2020 season.
It was good to see the older Surratt brother winning athletic honors again when he was named a first team All-ACC performer in 2019, when he was runner-up for the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year award.
Sage wasted no time in becoming a star on the Wake Forest football team. He was Wake's second leading receiver as a redshirt freshman in 2018. In 2019 he was named a third-team All-American by Athlon, first-team All-ACC at wide receiver, and enters his junior year with a streak of 14 consecutive games with a reception, averaging 111.2 yards per game--eighth best in ACC history.
He's a preseason first team All-ACC selectionby Athlon Sports, Street & Smith and Lindy's Sports as he returns for the 2020 season.
For those who have wondered about two other brothers who were sports stars at a Lincoln County school, the Gilley brothers, Chase and Logan, probably won't start their college soccer career until 2021. They had planned to attend Appalachian State, but for reasons that are still a mystery to most, ASU dropped soccer from its intercollegiate program. The brothers may continue to work on their game before choosing another college. I spoke with their mother after the App State decision to drop soccer and she confirmed that they were disappointed but thought it might be for the best. The twins are younger than some who graduated this year, so their improvement will not only be a matter of learning but also a matter of maturing, which should make them even better when they do decide on a college team...or they may take an alternate route to a likely professional career.
There is not only reason to doubt that college football might be a victim to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic; high school sports may also be cut back seriously or nixed this fall if things don't improve.
At this point, there's still doubt about how the schools can open on the planned beginning date August 17th, and if they do, will it be on campus or by remote learning?