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Chris Steuber

NFL Draft Spotlight: Q&A with NC State DB David Amerson

By Chris Steuber | Twitter: @ChrisSteuber
Player Personnel Director & Senior NFL Draft Analyst
02/22/2013 12:20PM ET
Six months ago, North Carolina State defensive back David Amerson was considered to be one of the elite defenders in the nation and a sure top-five NFL draft pick, if he decided to declare for the NFL a year early. But, a lot has changed during that time and so has the star status Amerson created for himself.

The 13 interceptions that Amerson collected during his sensational sophomore year are almost a distant memory to some (not me personally), and have been replaced by the sub-par play that was produced on film this past year. In this Ourlads' exclusive, Amerson discusses the roller coaster ride of a junior season, his disappointing season opening performance against Tennessee, the best part about his offseason thus far and much more.

Also, learn more about Amerson off-the-field; what he likes, how he spends his time, who his dream date is and more.
Chris Steuber: David, obviously a lot has changed over the past year. You were coming off of a 13-interception sophomore campaign and were about to enter your junior season as a highly regarded NFL prospect. But, 2012 probably didn't go the way you anticipated and how many expected, which has changed people's perception of you as a prospect. How do you feel about all that's transpired?

David Amerson: With all of the hype and all of the interceptions that I had, I felt that I was focusing on the right things, but also the wrong things at the same time - if that makes any sense. I was trying to make every play and wasn't allowing the game to come to me. I was sitting on routes. I started doing stuff that was out of character for me. But, with all of that said and all that's happened, I know that I am the same player that had all of those interceptions in 2011. People can say what they want to say, but I know whatever round I go in or wherever I go - they [the team that drafts me] are not going to regret it.

CS: Do you think you were a victim of your own success?

Off-the-field with Amerson

What’s your nickname? Prime Time or D.A.

What’s on TV? The only thing I watch on TV is sports. I may watch a movie at night, but otherwise I'm playing video games.

What’s your favorite movie? Love & Basketball and The Wood.

What’s on your iPod? I listen to just about anybody and anything, really. I just love music, period. All kinds of music.

What do you drive? I had a Mustang, but I have a 2012 BMW right now.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? I always look at the time.

Do you have any superstitions? Pray [before every game].

Who are your closest friends on the team? Mustafa Greene, Forrest West and D.J. Green.

What did you enjoy most about NC State? Home games. It was hard for any team to come into our stadium and win.

If you could trade places for one day with someone who would it be? LeBron James or Bill Gates.

What was your first job? I never had a real working job. I never really worked a day in my life, to be honest.

What is your favorite food? I like pasta - something like shrimp Alfredo.

What’s your favorite city to visit? Atlanta

What’s your favorite NFL team? I grew up a big Cowboys fan, but I am more of a player guy now. I was a big T.O. fan. When he was with Philly, I used to like Philly. When he went to the Cowboys, I liked the Cowboys.

What player do you pattern your game after? I try to take a little from everybody, but I like Ed Reed a lot. I also like Charles Woodson. But, if I had to say who my favorite defensive back is in the league, it would be Ed Reed.

Who would be your dream date? Christina Milian. I think she is the most beautiful chick in the world.

What’s your best and worst physical attribute? My best would probably be my leaping ability. During training, I had a 37-inch vertical. My worst used to be my strength, but it's not really that anymore. I don't know what my worst is.

What are some of your hobbies? Video games. I used to play basketball a lot, but I can't do that anymore.

What’s your most prized possession? My high school state championship ring.

What’s something you can’t live without? Music and women; I like women.

Who’s the most instrumental person in your life? My family.

What’s a quote that you live by? "Death before dishonor."
Amerson: I feel like I tried to approach it [the season] in a different way; yeah, it may have been the wrong way, but it was with the right attitude. At the beginning of the season, I wasn't playing my game. I wasn't myself.

CS: What do you mean by, 'it may have been the wrong way' and 'I wasn't myself’?

Amerson: I was sitting on routes; doing a lot of guessing. I was trying to time routes before they happened and didn't play on straight instinct. Well, not really instinct, but I was looking in the backfield a lot; my eyes were in the wrong place. It got to me.

CS: Do you think the issues you had early in the season were due to the scheme or the fact you were thinking too much on the field?

Amerson: It was a little of both. I was aggressive jumping every route, but other times I was over thinking - thinking stuff was coming to me and it didn't come. It happens so quick at corner. A lot of times it was just me beating myself and that frustrated me the most.

CS: The season opener against Tennessee is a game a lot of people go back to and are alarmed by. Obviously, it wasn’t the performance you envisioned having. Hit rewind… what are your thoughts on that game now?

Amerson: When you think about it, that game and another game were my only bad games. I don't think that game took its toll on me for the entire season. A lot of what I said about playing out of character happened in that game. It was a bad game. People have bad games all of the time, but the finger was pointed at me because I was expected to do this and that. It's all good - it happens. I put it behind me and moved on from it.

CS: Do you think the criticism you took after the Tennessee game was warranted or were there other factors that contributed to your play that people ignored?

Amerson: It was just a little bit of everything. I'm not one to point the finger at anybody. If I give up anything, I will always take the blame for it. I made mistakes in that game - all of the touchdowns I gave up or whatever. It was a little bit of everything [in that game], but a lot was me beating myself.

CS: Do you pay attention to all of the media attention or do you ignore it?

Amerson: I don't really pay too much attention to it. People have their own opinions. They will say this and that whether it is good or bad. You can't change that. If I did pay attention to all of that, it would have me think of the wrong things. I try to keep my head clear and keep working hard.

CS: Well, I am one of those people who have their own opinions and I’ve been one of your biggest supporters. For the past couple of years, I’ve been saying your best position will be at free safety in the NFL, and that you remind me of Ed Reed when he left Miami and declared for the draft. Do you agree that you are best suited as a safety and how would you feel about that transition in the NFL?

Amerson: You can just think of me as a playmaker in the secondary. I'll do whatever. I wouldn't mind being that ballhawking free safety. Or, if they need me to be that shutdown corner, I wouldn't mind trying to get to that. Really, I don't think it matters. I played safety in high school, and I guess you can say that's my first love. I played corner in college, and I grew to love that. I don't really think it matters. I am versatile and I can adjust. Wherever a team puts me, I'll make that adjustment and be successful at it to the best of my ability.

CS: It's still early in the draft process, but what’s been the best part and the most aggravating part of the offseason so far?

Amerson: So far, the most fun part for me is to watch the progression of myself as an athlete. I'm trying to get bigger, faster and stronger, and seeing the results has been one of the most positive parts of my offseason. I'd say the most aggravating thing about the offseason is having to think about all of the mistakes that happened during the season. I wish I could go back and fix them. That aggravates me sometimes.

CS: Well, It’s always good to look forward and to leave the past behind you, but how often do you go back and watch the plays you should've made?

Amerson: Oh man, countless times. I know there's a lot of them. I look at them and I am like, "I know I am way better than that." I can't change the past, but it can help me in the future.

CS: Indeed.

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