The UConn football program received their first commitment since December’s early signing day on Sunday and it comes at a position that is of dire need. Lorenza Surgers, all 6’7″ and 225-lbs of him, is expected to play defensive end in the Huskies 3-3-5 scheme. Throughout the 2017 season, defensive coordinator Billy Crocker and head coach Randy Edsall each discussed the importance of the prototypical defensive end in their style of play and Surgers possesses the desired size and speed to play the position.
Gone are of course multi-year starters Cole Ormsby and Luke Carrezola, two players who excelled both on and off the field at UConn. Surgers will likely be in the mix early on in his career, as the staff searches for two players to immediately step in and assume a role. The likely starters at this point seem to be Phillipe Okounam and James Atkins, with Connor Freeborn and AJ Garson serving as their back-ups.
Surgers was on campus for his official visit this past weekend, which ultimately led to his commitment. On Monday evening, he could only speak highly of what he experienced.
“It was great,” he said over the phone. “I really enjoyed the campus and all the people around it. The coaches all knew each other and it seemed like a family when I was there. They all seemed to have a genuine care about you.”
The Huskies didn’t get involved with Surgers until after his season ended at Panther Creek High School in Cary, North Carolina. He estimated he’s been communicating with UConn coaches for about six weeks and received an offer back on January 5th. He committed on Sunday, before departing for home.
In reviewing his film, Surgers length, speed and get-off, stand out. He is quick off the line and possesses a motor that is unique for a defensive end. What does he see as his strengths?
“My length and my height,” he confirmed. “I can be quick off the ball.”
On multiple highlight clips, Surgers was able to chase down a quarterback who left the pocket. He also had a few special teams plays, which showcased his ability to play until the whistle.
“I definitely think you shouldn’t stop until the play ends because you never know when someone can cut back or keep a play alive,” he said. “If you don’t run until the whistle blows, you aren’t really doing your job.”
Sounds like a Randy Edsall type of guy, right?
Surgers moved to North Carolina from the state of Texas, where he started playing Pop-Warner at the age of nine. He soon then moved as his parents obtained new jobs in Carolina, but continued to play football.
“It was different when I got here,” he said. “I felt a different vibe coming here.”
Moving to another new state, however, doesn’t matter to him.
“Football is football,” he added. “No matter where you are.”
Panther Creek went through a lot of change in 2017 as they struggled, going 0-11 just one year after making the state playoffs. And as with many of the Huskies commits, Surgers is a multi-sport athlete and is in the midst of an 8-8 basketball season.
His arrival in Storrs this summer will be big, as he may be able to push his way into the rotation with a position group that lost a lot of leadership and a lot of talent from this year’s roster. With Edsall and Crocker looking to fill needs across the line, Surgers may just find his way onto the field early in his UConn career.
MATT SCHONVISKY / SITE CREATOR
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