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Surratt Talks Being Vocal, Developing & More

CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina quarterback Chazz Surratt was made available to the media for the only time during spring practice Tuesday and fielded a series of questions about last season, his interesting trip to California last month, how his game has grown, and battling Nathan Elliott for the starting job.

Last season, Surratt got off to a very good start through the first few games, but then struggled before suffering several injuries, including a concussion. For the season, he completed 107-183 pass attempts for 1,342 yards, 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He also ran the ball for five more scores.

Here is what he had to say:


On if he was connected by Marquise Williams with quarterback guru George Whitfield, whom Surratt spent spring break training with in California…

“I had known him previously, I didn’t even know he had worked with Marquise until I was about to go out there. I had known him from high school, my parents wanted me to work out with him, I wanted to work out with him. So I just went out and did it.”

On last season and how up and down it was for him…

“I thought it was an up and down year. Sometimes I was hot, sometimes I was low, and then the inquiries, I was plagued by those. But, it was a great learning experience for me. I’m just trying to take it every day. I watched all my film from last year just trying to continue to get better from that and develop this year and have a winning season this year.”


On who it was he worked with the most in California and what was noticed right away Surratt needed to fix…

“George Whitfield. Just working on the in step of my back foot. I’m not planting on that, really, and transitioning my weight through my throws coming across my front toe just to get more power into the ball.”

On how soon after the work he noticed a difference in his performance…

“It made a difference right away when I noticed it. I’m not perfect at it, yet, I’ve got a lot of work to do. So I’ve been trying to do those drills out here, just practicing throwing and I’m going to really focus on it as I go into the summer.”


On his low points last year and what he did to get through them…

“I think the hardest part for me was not always being successful, not winning. I didn’t really lose in high school, so to be losing I kind of got down on myself and kind of (shut) myself off from my team and kind of took it all on me. Me and my coach have talked about those issues, and those low points, that defines you. I’ve got to be more open and help everybody out and not just look at myself, try to be a leader for our team when things aren’t going good. That’s really been the focus for me this spring.”

On if there’s a game in particular that sticks out in this respect…

“Maybe the Notre Dame game was the worse one. For me personally, it was a tough game. The conditions and just everything that was going on in that game, that’s probably the lowest point.”


On being more vocal this spring, if it was hard for him…

“It was hard for me at first. In high school, we didn’t really have to talk a lot because we were always winning by 50 points, it was a little different. But, that’s one of the things I learned coming in, you’ve got to be the guy people look to, so me and coach Heck (Keith Heckendorf) have definitely talked about the emphasis this spring being more of a vocal leader this year.”

On what else is different for him now…

“I’ve been a lot more comfortable out here in the spring. I’ve got a year under my belt. The game’s a lot slower than it was last year, so definitely my comfort and my confidence with my teammates, building that chemistry – I think I have great chemistry with all of the receivers right now because we’ve been working for a long time now. So I think that’s ally gelling right now.”


On if having a unique throwing motion has ever been a concern of the coaching staff at UNC…

“No, not really. My true freshman year, I kind of dipped the ball, I’ve been trying to work on that and am going to continue working on that as I am here throughout my career.”

On how much it helps that he and Elliott are pushing each other as much as they are...

“I think it helps a lot. Coach Fedora talks about completion all the time, so we’re both trying to be the guy for this team. But we’re both supporting each other at the same time, and it’s great having a guy going back and forth with to kind of gauge yourself. We’re both working hard trying to be the best guy for this team.”


On how Elliott has grown this spring…

“I think he’s grown. Nate’s always been a cerebral player, he has a great knowledge of the offense. He’s been doing well out here, I’m happy for him, too. We came in as friends, so it’s not like we’re enemies or anything like that. We both support each other.”

More on his relationship with Elliott…

“We’re pretty good friends. When I first got here, he was one of the first guys to help me out with the plays and stuff and we were always partners in drills. We had a pretty good relationship out here before we were even in competition. We don’t have any ill will. If he does good I’m happy for him, If I do good he’s happy for me. There’s nothing like bad blood or anything like that.”


On if it’s a challenge to wipe the slate clean from the previous season when it didn’t go as well as expected…

“For me, I’ve got to remember the bad so I can push forward and use it as fuel. I think a lot of guys are like that, too. They don’t want to completely erase whatever they did. But, everybody has a new start, it’s a new year. We’re all looking at having a winning season this year.”