Practice Tour: David Amerson

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- Unlike last fall, David Amerson will head into the 2009 football season with game experience under his belt.

"I feel like I'm way smarter in the game," Amerson said. "I know a lot from being around Coach [Steve] Davis more, watching a lot of film – watching myself on film seeing some of the mistakes I've made. I think I'm way more advanced than I was last year."

Amerson, a 6-foot-2, 168-pound safety, didn't play football his freshman or sophomore seasons, as he elected to solely focus on basketball. When things on the hardwood didn't work out, Davis, who recognized Amerson's raw abilities, asked him to try out for the football team. Amerson won the starting free safety job and a year later is one of the state's top recruits.

"I know I have a quarterback in the secondary [this season]," Davis said. "And also with Major Bryant, I have a quarterback at the linebacker position. We could be possibly as good I've been since I've been here with my back seven on defense… I am looking for leadership from those two on defense."

Being one of the top football programs in the state, expectations are always going to be high at Dudley. This fall, those expectations are multiplied with what is returning from an undefeated NCHSAA 3AA State Title team.

"As a coaching staff, I can honestly say we think that if the ball can bounce this way, that way, we have a chance [to repeat]," Davis said. "We have a lot of good quality guys coming up – young guys who have been in the program going on three years now and once you're in the program that long it's time to produce.

"And we feel like we've got a chance to run deep into the playoffs, provided that we're not injured during the year at some key positions, because we just don't have the depth we had last year. But overall, we think we have a decent team."

Amerson has picked up some extra responsibilities this season. In addition to his defensive duties, he will see snaps at both wide receiver and running back on offense, return kickoffs and punts, and line up on both the kickoff and punt units.

"I'm excited about getting the ball in my hands," Amerson said.

Amerson had planned to make a verbal commitment before his senior football season kicked off. However, his recruitment became more complicated than he envisioned.

"I'll probably take my officials [before committing]," Amerson said. "I would like to take five [official visits], unless something else changes. I'd like to take five and see how that goes."

Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame, and Virginia Tech are locks to receive an official visit from Amerson. He said he's considering North Carolina for his final trip.

Amerson has yet to schedule any official trips. However, he'd like to visit Notre Dame for the Southern Cal game (Oct. 17) and is considering the first few NC State home games.

Heading into his official visits, NC State is Amerson's leader.

"Being down [to NC State] as many times as I have been – you know being around the players and the coaches, and getting a feel for all of them – I just always get a good vibe every time I'm down there," Amerson said. "I really like Coach [Mike] Reed, a lot. We talk a lot on the phone and when I go up there. And Coach [Tom] O'Brien, every time I go up there, I talk to him one-on-one."

For a while, UNC seemed to have fallen out of contention for Amerson. But then a couple of weeks back he made a surprise visit to UNC.

"Coach [Everett] Withers asked Coach [Steve] Davis to have me call him," Amerson said. "I called Coach Withers myself and he talked about [visiting]. I just wanted to explore all my options."

Although UNC still has ground to make up, the visit has put the Tar Heels back into the race for Amerson.

"That definitely opened up my eyes to UNC," Amerson said. "As far as all the football buildings, I had no idea it was that big. I got to get a feel for some of the coaches. Some of the coaches I've never met, I met. I looked around the campus, it's a beautiful campus. It seems like Coach Butch Davis is going to do some very big things with the football team."

David Amerson

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