Inside the Game: David Amerson

GREENSBORO, N.C. --- With Friday's 22-0 victory, Dudley High has now won its last eight contests against rival Smith High and leads the overall series 28-18-1. Still, though, the rivalry remains quite important within the city limits.

In addition to seeing each around town, both teams played together for the Warnersville Recreational Center's youth football team. Also, the two schools get most of their players from Allen Middle School.


Primarily, Amerson served as the free safety in Dudley's defense. However, on approximately 20 percent of the defensive snaps, he lined up at cornerback.

Facing a run-heavy offense, Dudley started and played roughly half of the game in a 4-4 scheme. It did, though, switch to its regular 4-3 defense later in the game and on known passing situations.

Dudley's secondary was in some sort of zone the entire game – mostly cover-3. Thus, Amerson was never in a man-coverage situation – even at cornerback.

However, there were several plays during the game – mostly in known passing situations – where Amerson was positioned across from Eric Ebron, Smith's main receiving target.

Amerson also handled kickoff and punt return duties. However, Smith's lone kickoff was kicked away from Amerson, while every punt landed out of bounds or too short for a return.

It wasn't until the fourth quarter that Amerson saw offensive snaps. He lined up at wide receiver for roughly a dozen plays. He was mostly utilized as a decoy as Dudley attempted to run time off the clock on the ground. Amerson did, however, make a 16-yard catch on his lone target.

Big Play

As Dudley began to seal the victory early in the fourth quarter, Amerson broke up a potential game-altering pass. Running a fly route, Ebron had nothing but open field in front of him. Amerson, who was in zone coverage, read the quarterback from the snap and showed excellent coverage skills.

"The quarterback was watching [Ebron]," Amerson said. "I just kept with [Ebron] and watched the ball and made the play."

Amerson timed his jump better than Ebron and also leaped just as high, despite being three inches shorter. Ultimately, Amerson put himself in better position to make the catch than Ebron but decided to swat the ball away.


Defensive: 1 tackle, 1 pass breakup
Offensive: 1 catch for 16 yards


Friday night was almost a tale of two halves for Amerson. In the first half, which resulted in no statistics, he wasn't very aggressive, seemed to shy away from contact, and just looked disinterested. However, he played much more aggressive in the second half, recording a solo tackle.

Amerson moves smoothly and effortlessly throughout the secondary. He has a quick backpedal and tremendous range. He's a legit 6-foot-2, which helps him in covering a lot of ground.

Amerson was only tested once all game long. On that lone pass play, which is described in the "Big Play" section, Amerson showed excellent coverage ability and ball skills.

As a tackler, Amerson had a kamikaze approach. He dives at the ball carrier, which leads to either a big hit or a missed tackle.

When Amerson was on offense, all but one play called was a run. Regardless, he was never asked to block; instead he ran routes, which took his cornerback away from the play.

Outside of the one pass play call, Amerson ran his routes at a speed slightly faster than a jog.

On his lone target, Amerson ran a 15-yard comeback. He ran the route at full speed and his cut was sharp, which allowed him to lose the cornerback and become open. He caught the pass with his body, but still managed to make the reception.


During IC's post game interview with Amerson, a couple of the assistant coaches on Dudley's staff yelled out "NC State," after realizing Amerson was talking about his recruitment.

Another sign that UNC shouldn't be optimistic about its chances at this point: Amerson didn't recall the details of his official visit to UNC until he was further asked about it.

Other Standouts

The best football player "today" on the field Friday night was easily Major Bryant. In addition to making tackles sideline-to-sideline, Bryant lined up at tight end and fullback for Dudley and delivered some vicious blocks, including a goal line pancake that opened up a huge hole and led to a touchdown.

Height (he measured in at 5-foot-10 at the Combine) is hurting Bryant's recruiting stock. However, he's the type of kid that someone will take a chance on and will likely reap the benefits.

The best prospect on the field Friday night was probably Ebron, who already has a UNC offer. For his size, Ebron is an amazing, but raw, athlete. The junior split out at receiver several times during the game, but for the most part lined up at tight end. In Smith's run-heavy offense, Ebron is used as a blocker most of the time, but on passing plays he's the go-to receiver.

Ebron also handled Smith's long snapping.

Check back tomorrow for the full video reel of Amerson's performance.

David Amerson Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories