Last season, cornerback David Amerson was ranked as the sixth-best football recruit in North Carolina while also ranking as the No. 16 safety in the nation and the country's No. 206 overall recruit. This fall, Amerson may be pushed onto the field quicker than anyone expected as the Wolfpack cornerbacks, Amerson's new position under coach Tom O'Brien, have suffered a recent rash of injuries and at least three cornerbacks will miss the season opener.
Amerson was available to the media for the first time on Aug. 14 during the annual Meet the Pack Day. The Wolfpacker was there and talked to the 6-3 and 180-pound rookie about switching from safety to cornerback and the upcoming 2010 campaign.
Coach O'Brien said last night that the freshmen defensive backs look really athletic, they've got a lot to learn but he thought they can help. Tell me where you are right now?
I'm just learning, I'm just doing what I did in high school: trying to make plays to the best of my ability. Right now, it's just a learning process; I'm trying to adjust to the system.
You're a pretty big, long cornerback and pretty fast. What do you bring athletically?
Yes, sir. I see myself as a ballhawk. When the ball is in the air, I'm trying to attack and make a play on the ball. I think I can help create more turnovers for the team and just try to help them out as much as possible.
At the first practice, which was just thud (non-tackle), you creamed someone unexpectedly. Is that just something you have to learn?
Yes, sir. I wasn't intentionally trying to hit him, I was just trying to make him drop the ball; it was just natural instinct.
Why did you choose NC State?
Coach Reed, I'm real tight with him. They're building back up [at NC State] and I wanted to be part of that. If we have a good, positive year, I want to be part of the team that kind of changed the program around.
It looks like there may be a chance for you to get into the mix early, can you talk about that?
I hope so. Like I said, I just want to do anything I can do to help the team. If they need me to play, I'll play. If they need me to watch, I'll watch and just help them practice but I want to help as much as possible.
Are they working you at both corners or are you concentrating on just one?
I'm just working at the boundary corner.
I guess run support is the big deal on that corner, can you tell me about that? Is that a big change from high school?
Yes, sir. It kind of goes hand-in-hand because, in high school, I played safety. I was hitting a lot and everything [at safety] so that helps a lot switching to boundary corner, I can come up and make a tackle in run support so it's not that bad.
So you're already used to playing in the middle of the field and tackling?
Right, yes, sir.
What's been the best thing about being on campus so far?
Just the teammates, being around my team and having a good time. Getting adjusted to college and how fast the game is, is kind of fun, it's challenging.
Who had a big impact on you growing up?
My older brother. He was a good football player, if he had everything straight, he'd probably be in the league right now. It didn't work out that way but I really look up to him.
What's his name and did he play in college?
Noah Amerson. He actually didn't play his senior of high school due to some situations but if he played, he'd probably be in the league right now, I truly believe that.
How does he help you?
We talk all the time. He gives me pointers on things I ask him about, I ask him for advice and things like that. I just try to base my game off of how he used to play it.
Where's he at right now?
He's currently in Greensboro.
Can you talk about the transition going from a high school safety to a college corner?
There's a lot more rules, there's a lot more technique to it. As a safety, I was just reacting to the ball and ball carrier. Playing corner, you have to do a lot more reading and recognition; it's definitely something I have to adjust to.
Can you talk about matching up with such talented receivers and quarterbacks every day and how that helps?
They're really good, it's definitely challenging. I see it as something that is going to get me better, get me prepared for anyone in the ACC because I truly believe that our receivers are one of the best corps in the ACC.
How did the scrimmage go [Friday]?
It went pretty good. I think I made quite a few plays so it went pretty good.