2010 Intro: David Amerson

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- A year ago David Amerson traded basketball for football. The 6-foot-2, 168-pound athlete is now one of the region's top gridiron prospects.

"In middle school, I was a good football player; so I knew it was still in me," Amerson said. "But I was surprised by the recruiting attention. It's shocking to me.

"I have to really thank Coach [Steve] Davis."

Amerson has collected scholarship offers from Duke, East Carolina, Louisville, Maryland, Notre Dame, NC State, Texas Tech, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest. Schools like Clemson, LSU, and North Carolina are close to offering, also.

"I think that before it's all said and done, he'll be a national recruit," Davis said.

Everett Withers is recruiting Amerson for UNC.

"[Withers] has basically said they just need to get his transcript in [and] test scores," David said. "From what they see on tape, they're pretty sure they're going to offer."

Amerson says Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest are recruiting him the hardest.

As an incoming freshman, Amerson tried out for the football team. He lasted one practice.

"I asked him ‘Why are you giving up,'" Davis said. "He made a comment that he felt like he wasn't going to get any playing time."

Amerson went on to spend the following two seasons on Dudley's powerhouse basketball program. However, he never was able to crack the starting lineup or receive significant playing time.

"I pulled him to the side one morning and said, ‘Two years ago when you first came to Dudley, you told me a reason why you weren't going to play football: what did you say?'" Davis said. "He said, ‘I felt like I wasn't going to get any playing time.' I said ‘Well, I've watched you two years on the basketball team…' He said ‘Coach, I know what you're saying, I'll be out there this spring.'"

While Dudley's football program, which has sent a number of players to the Division I-A ranks, isn't short on athletes, Davis recognized Amerson's potential to be something special.

"I knew he was a good athlete watching him in the gym," Davis said. "I knew what he was capable of [on the football field] coming out of middle school."

True to his word, Amerson joined the football team during winter workouts.

"He started working out with us this time of the year last year and he stuck it out," Davis said. "I told him if he came out he'd be my free safety right away."

Amerson did indeed win the starting free safety position, where his responsibilities included run support and playing the deep middle zone against the pass. He surpassed all expectations.

"Coach [Charlie] Weis told him ‘I watched you on tape - as a high school player, you're one of the better ones I've seen who could cover the pass but also come up and lay the wood on the run,'" Davis said.

On the season, Amerson intercepted nine passes and had 54 tackles.

Dudley went on to repeat as NCHSAA 3AA State Champions. The Panthers posted a 16-0 record, including a victory over Richmond County High, which won the NCHSAA 4AA title.

This fall, Amerson will primarily be used as a free safety, again. But against certain opponents, he will line up at cornerback.

"If we play what we consider a real good receiver, especially a big guy, we will put him on man-to-man – like when we play [Keenan Allen]," Davis said.

Davis also plans to increase Amerson's snaps on offense.

"Last year, we used him sparingly on offense, but this year we'll try to get the ball in his hands a little more," Davis said. "We're going to try to put him at some running back – get him the ball that way. And also at receiver and try to stretch the field a little bit – he has great speed."

Before his senior football season begins, Amerson plans to make a verbal commitment.

"I don't want to rush anything," Amerson said. "If I don't feel like I've found that school, I'll hold off. But I'd like to get it out of the way so I can focus on my senior season."

Amerson says he doesn't have a list of favorites and has enjoyed every school he has visited thus far.

This spring, Amerson has attended more than his share of junior days – Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Maryland, NC State, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest.

In April, Amerson will unofficially visit Notre Dame. He also hopes to get out to Texas Tech sometime soon.

Amerson is also looking to camp at Alabama and Georgia, among others, this summer.

In the meantime, Amerson, who has given up basketball, is running track for Dudley in preparation for his senior football season.

David Amerson

Inside Carolina Top Stories