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The Final Cockdown: #97 J.T. Surratt

The countdown continues with South Carolina's other starting defensive tackle.

Look we don't exactly have loads of photos for guys who were backup defensive tackles last year.
Look we don't exactly have loads of photos for guys who were backup defensive tackles last year.
John Sommers II

J.T. Surratt

Redshirt Junior Defensive Tackle
6'2", 307 lbs.
Winston-Salem, NC

3 stars, 85th defensive tackle in 2010 class
Other offers: Marshall, East Carolina

College Career:
Surratt redshirted during the 2010 season and saw limited action in three 2011 contests. It wasn't until the great injury and flu catastrophe of 2012 that J.T. got his first start, which came on the road against Florida - a game in which the defense was actually quite dominant (2.82 yards per play) despite the whole Florida scoring a shitload of points thing.

2012 Stats:
3 starts, 10 games played
14 tackles, 2.5 for loss
0.5 sacks

2013 Outlook:
Surratt is competing with Gerald Dixon, Jr. (you know the one) to replace the thick, powerful, run-stuffing, roller coaster-fearing, and recently graduated Byron Jerideau. But the experience Surratt accumulated in the third chair of the 2012 defensive tackle rotation will likely allow him to keep Dixon at bay. No matter who is first on the depth chart on August 27th, I anticipate that this will be much more of a heavy rotation than we've seen in the past several years, in which the Robertson/Quarles and Quarles/Jerideau tandems became pretty firmly entrenched.

At this point, Surratt has the inside track toward being a multi-year starter on a championship level team, and when you can get that out of a low-to-mid three star recruit (depending on where you look) who had no BCS offers, you're playing with house money. (Incidentally, the 2010 recruiting class is absolutely lousy with players who fit that description.)

With that said, I don't think expectations for Surratt should be incredibly high in 2013 - and they don't need to be. When your three other defensive line starters are Jadeveon Clowney, Chaz Sutton, and Kelcy Quarles, you can get away with having the fourth guy be merely adequate. Still, the success he had backing up Quarles and Jerideau last year suggests that there's some upside here.

According to his bio on the athletic department's website, J.T.'s first and middle names are Terrence and Jalen, respectively, which would lead one to think that he might go by T.J. rather than the reverse, but #YOLO, I guess.

Possible Todd Ellis play-by-play call:
Big J.T. jars the ball lose and Clowney takes it into to the end zone for a Carolina touchdown! Folks, you can try to run away from him, but QUE SURRATT, SURRATT!