As just a true sophomore, David Amerson set the ACC and NC State single season record with 13 interceptions and was subsequently named a Walter Camp and ESPN first team all-american. He was awarded the Jack Tatum award as the nation's best defensive back and was one of three finalists for the Thorpe Award. Pack Pride spoke with Amerson recently about his performance in 2011 and expectations for the upcoming season.
Could you have ever imagined that last season would end up going the way it did for you?
To be honest, I wasn't expecting everything to happen like it did. I was expecting to have a good year because I had put in a lot of hard work in the off season and I came in to last season really focused and for it to happen like it did, nah, I never expected that.
There was a report that detailed some of the cat and mouse games that happen between the offense and defense. Is that really how it is for you before each play?
Yeah, it's like that very often out there. I think one thing that is really a plus to my game is my instincts. I've just applied that watching film, being focused in the film room and it has really worked out well for me.
It's ironic that in high school you were more of a safety playing center field instead of a cover corner. How was that transition from high school to college?
Well, in high school I was more of just a roaming safety and being a ball hawk in the backfield, breaking to the ball. I think the scheme we run here at NC State, it allows me to do that as well at the corner position, being a ball hawk. That's why I like it and why I think I've had success.
With so much success last year do you have to guard against letting all the accolades get in the way of your performance this season?
You can't think about that kind of stuff. You know, you've got to take it a game at a time. You've got to start back at the base because last year's in the past. This is a new season and as quickly as you go up, you can come down. So I just have to stay focused and do it all over again.
If you're midway through the season and have just one interception, experts will predictably ask, ‘what's wrong with Amerson'? If that happens, do you have to make sure you don't start taking unnecessary risks to try to make plays?
I think as long as we're winning and we're undefeated then I have no issues. I'll be fine. That's the goal for the team is to get to the ACC championship. So, if the team is on a positive path even if it's not going so well for me, I can live with that.
So how has the defense looked so far through training camp?
We look really good. I mean, the young guys are picking up everything real fast and the veteran guys are being veterans so it's going to be a good season for us.