North Carolina State University Wolfpack
Greensboro, North Carolina
Dudley High School
Perhaps Amerson spoiled us after his sensational 2011 season, when the field cornerback turned into the biggest thief since George Clooney and his Ocean’s 13 band of bandits. As a sophomore, the field cornerback set school and Atlantic Coast Conference records by picking off thirteen passes, the most in college football since Vince Worley of Washington set the NCAA Division I record with fourteen interceptions in 1968. The only other player to reach Amerson’s total was George Shaw of Oregon, who picked off thirteen tosses during the 1951 campaign.
When Amerson recorded “only” five interceptions the following season, the media started to call his 2012 performance sub par. One can only hope that every cornerback in football can have a sub-par year based on five interceptions. Yes, Amerson is a sensational man coverage defender, boasting eighteen interceptions and twelve pass deflections during his last 26 games, but there is much more to his skill set than just going after the ball.
With those lofty numbers competing for the ball in flight, you sometimes forget that this is a consummate team player. He is also a physical wrap-up tackler who rarely needs help when trying to contain the outside running game. Among his 169 career tackles were 131 solo stops. That total also includes 73 tackles made in attempts to stop the run.
Amerson is the type of player that is constantly on the field, not only with the defense, but also with the kick coverage units. It is rare, even in college, for starters, especially one as valuable as Amerson, to toil on special teams. But, much like Rodney Harrison and Steve Tasker during their playing days, the Wolfpack cornerback embraces his role as the team’s gunner. Proof comes in that he has recorded nineteen tackles (10 solos) in this capacity, more than any other starter on the State squad.
Even during his prep playing days, Amerson loved to be on the field – all the time. At Dudley High School, the Greensboro native starred as a safety and running back for head coach Stephen Davis. He received a four-star rating and was ranked as the nation’s 16th-best safety and sixth-best overall prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com.
The Super Prep All-American, was tabbed as the state’s third-best player by that publication and he was also named to the 2009 NCPreps.com 4A all-state football team.
As a junior, he recorded 60 tackles and nine interceptions, followed by a senior campaign that produced 55 tackles and six pass thefts. He also averaged 14 yards per punt return that season and excelled in the classroom, graduating with a 3.5 grade point average.
Amerson enrolled in the First Year College when he joined the North Carolina State program in 2010. He went on to be just one of five true freshman to start even one game for the squad that year, earning six assignments with the first unit while appearing in 640 snaps at boundary cornerback. He delivered 50 tackles (39 solos) and made several big plays that led to upset victories over Florida State, and vs. West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.
All-American honors came in droves during the 2011 season, as the record-breaking pass thief with Velcro-like hands excelled in man coverage shifted to the field cornerback position for his sophomore season. In addition to those thirteen interceptions, he registered 59 tackles (44 solos) on defense and eleven more with the coverage unit. Of his five pass deflections, four came on the final play of possessions.
Amerson was named an All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team pick in 2012, as he tied for the league title and ranked 17th in the nation with five interceptions for 82 yards in returns that included a touchdown. He batted away twelve other throws while producing 60 tackles (48 solos) on defense, in addition to delivering six more stops with the coverage unit.
The 2012 campaign would be his last in college. A day before players were to file with the NFL if they planned on entering the draft as underclassmen, his mother informed an Associated Press reporter that her son was skipping his final season with the Wolfpack and entering the NFL draft. Tawanna Taylor said Amerson submitted paperwork with the NFL before Tuesday’s deadline and was going to work out in Florida to prepare for the draft.
Amerson is an explosive open field runner and also physical. He claims a 345-pound bench press and a 485-pound squat, but it is his great initial burst and 38 ½-inch vertical jump that lets him get to the ball at its high point on a regular basis. “I can break on the ball when it’s in the air,” the cornerback stated. “I’m very physical and have the ability to take the ball back all the way when I get a pick. I’m just very aggressive.”
Preparing to play at the next level, Amerson has spent long hours training for that day, knowing there are still some areas of his game he is not satisfied with, yet. “I want to get bigger and stronger. I’m sure there’s a difference between being hit by someone who’s 180 pounds versus someone who’s over 200 pounds.”
Amerson started 35 his last 39 games at North Carolina State – the first nine at boundary cornerback and the final 26 at field cornerback…Recorded 169 tackles (131 solos) and two stops for losses of five yards on defense, adding nineteen more tackles (10 solos) with the special team coverage units…Recovered one fumble, deflected eighteen passes and gained 42 yards on a pair of kickoff returns…Recorded eighteen interceptions for 293 yards in returns (16.28 avg) and three touchdowns…His eighteen pass thefts tied John Talley of Duke (2003-06) for third on the Atlantic Coast Conference career-record chart behind Alphonso Smith of Wake Forest (21; 2005-08) and Dre’ Bly of North Carolina (20; 1996-98) and broke the school all-time record of sixteen, first set by Art Rooney (1936-38) and later matched by Eric Williams (1978-82)…His three interception returns for touch-downs are one shy of the ACC career-record of four, shared by Alphonso Smith and Randy Neal of Virginia (1991-94)…His three scores also topped the previous school record of two by Jack Whitley (1968-70)…In games where Amerson intercepted a pass, the team won twelve of those fourteen contests.
Amerson was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference second-team, as the field cornerback started all thirteen games, participating in 920 snaps…Recorded a career-high 60 tackles (48 solos), adding six more hits (4 solos) as a member of the special team coverage units…Deflected twelve passes and gained 82 yards with a touchdown on five interceptions, as his theft total tied for the league title and ranked 17th in the nation…
Returning All-American who plays the field corner spot, where he earned second-team All- Picked off his 18th career pass vs. Boston College, returning it for a 55-yard touchdown, the third score on an interception return for his career…In each game that Amerson had an interception (five games), State won that contest in 2012…Opened the season with nine solo tackles vs. Tennessee and then had a string of three consecutive contests with one interception – vs. Connecticut, South Alabama and The Citadel…Posted six tackles (5 solos) vs. Florida State, following with another six hits the next week vs. Maryland, as he also returned an interception 27 yards vs. the Terps…Delivered nine tackles with three pass break-ups in the Clemson clash…Closed out his career with seven tackles, as he broke up a pass and assisted in a stop behind the line of scrimmage vs. Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl.
The sophomore field cornerback earned All-American and All-ACC honors as he set school and league season-records with thirteen interceptions for 205 yards in returns, including two touchdowns…Named the College Football Performance Awards Defensive Back of the Year, Amerson tied George Shaw of Oregon (1951) for the second-most interceptions in major college history, as Al Worley of Washington established that mark with fourteen thefts in 1968…Became just the third player in conference history to steal at least ten passes, as he is joined by Dre Bly of North Carolina (eleven in 1996) and Bob Sullivan of Maryland (ten in 1965)…His interception total shattered the previous school record of eight by Art Rooney, who accomplished that feat in both the 1937 and ’38 seasons…Participated in 866 snaps, starting all thirteen contests while recording 59 tackles (44 solos) with 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, a fumble recovery and five pass deflections…Also had a 25-yard kickoff return and registered eleven tackles (6 solos) as a member of the special team coverage units…Had a pair of picks in four different games: Liberty, Central Michigan, Virginia and Louisville in the Belk Bowl, as all four of those contests were Pack victories…Returned two interceptions for touchdowns, one vs. the Cavaliers for 12 yards and a 65-yarder vs. Louisville in the Belk Bowl…Helped preserve the shutout over North Carolina with his ninth pick of the season…Named ACC Defensive Back of the Week twice – vs. Central Michigan and Virginia…Recipient of the Jack Tatum Award (top cornerback) after the season.
Amerson was one of just five true freshmen to start a game for the Wolfpack in 2010, as he got the nod at the boundary cornerback position in nine contests…Finished with 50 tackles (39 solos) and one pass deflection on defense, adding two assisted stops and a 17-yard kickoff return on special teams…Led the team in tackles in the win over Boston College with eight…Had seven stops in the wins over Florida State and West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl.
No major injuries reported.
4.44 in the 40-yard dash…1.53 10-yard dash…2.52 20-yard dash…35 ½-inch vertical jump… 10’7” broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 15 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…10 ½-inch hands…77 ¼-inch wingspan.
Amerson attended Dudley (Greensboro, N.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Stephen Davis…Starred as a safety and running back…Received a four-star rating and was ranked as the nation’s 16th-best safety and sixth-best overall prospect in the state of North Carolina by Rivals.com…The Super Prep All-American, was tabbed as the state’s third-best player by that publication and he was also named to the 2009 NCPreps.com 4A all-state football team…As a junior, he recorded 60 tackles and nine interceptions…In his senior campaign, he produced 55 tackles and six pass thefts…Also averaged 14 yards per punt return that season and excelled in the classroom, graduating with a 3.5 grade point average.
Sociology major…Son of Tawanna Taylor..Born 12/08/91 in Honolulu, Hawaii…Resides in Greensboro, North Carolina.
|INTERCEPTION RETURNS||SPECIAL TEAM TACKLES|
2010 Game by Game Stats
|@ Ga. Tech||3||0||0||0||0-0||0/0||0||0|
2011 Game by Game Stats
AMERSON GAME BY GAME LOG
|2012 Season||Date||Opponent||Score||Played||Int. Ret.||Pts||Tackles||PBU||FC|
|South Ala.||09/15/12||South Ala.||31-7||Yes||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|Miami (FL)||09/29/12||at Miami (FL)||37-44||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||2||0|
|Florida St.||10/06/12||Florida St.||17-16||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||1||5||0||0||0||0||0|
|North Carolina||10/27/12||at North Carolina||35-43||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||2||4||0||0||0||1||0|
|Wake Forest||11/10/12||Wake Forest||37-6||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||1||0|
|Boston College||11/24/12||Boston College||27-10||Yes||1||55||1||1||6||1||4||0||0||0||2||0|
|2011 Season||Date||Opponent||Score||Played||Int. Ret.||Kickoff
|Wake Forest||09/10/11||at Wake Forest||27-34||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|South Ala.||09/17/11||South Ala.||35-13||Yes||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Georgia Tech||10/01/11||Georgia Tech||35-45||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|Central Mich.||10/08/11||Central Mich.||38-24||Yes||2||28||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Florida St.||10/29/11||at Florida St.||0-34||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||0|
|North Carolina||11/05/11||North Carolina||13-0||Yes||1||33||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||0||1||2||1||0|
|Boston College||11/12/11||at Boston College||10-14||Yes||1||18||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Western Caro.||09/04/10||Western Caro.||48-7||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Georgia Tech||09/25/10||at Georgia Tech||45-28||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Virginia Tech||10/02/10||Virginia Tech||30-41||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|Boston College||10/09/10||Boston College||44-17||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0||0||0||0||0|
|East Carolina||10/16/10||at East Carolina||27-33||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||2||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Florida St.||10/28/10||Florida St.||28-24||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||4||3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Wake Forest||11/13/10||Wake Forest||38-3||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||3||1||0||0||0||0||0|
|North Carolina||11/20/10||at North Carolina||29-25||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||2||4||0||0||0||0||0|
|West Virginia||12/28/10||West Virginia||23-7||Yes||0||0||0||0||0||1||6||0||0||0||0||1|
Data provided by Dave-Te Thomas, Publisher of the NFL Draft Reports for TonySoftli.com & Tony Softli Draft Board; Distributed by Scouting Services, Inc. © Copyright 2012/13 – All Rights Reserved; Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Scouting Services Inc. is strictly prohibited.