GREENSBORO N.C. State cornerback David Amerson has shot up NFL draft website lists after a record-breaking, 13-interception sophomore season. Coach Tom OBrien said he expects Amerson, who is projected as a top-10 pick on multiple sites, to exit for the NFL after this season.
I would be very surprised if David Amerson is back after another year, OBrien said.
While Amerson will be around for 2012, three freshmen will not. Tyler Knox, a defensive end from Myrtle Beach, Xavier Griffin, receiver from Newark, Del., and Desmond Owino, a defensive end from Raleigh, did not qualify academically.
OBrien did say that sophomore running back Mustafa Greene was back in good standing. Greene, who missed all of the 2011 season with a foot injury, missed most of the spring for disciplinary reasons. OBrien said Greene, the teams leading rusher in 2010, will compete with returnees James Washington and Tony Creecy.
Less Sly for Heels: First-year North Carolina coach Larry Fedora cut to the quick when he met senior defensive tackle Sylvester Williams, one of his key defensive players.
Let me tell you what, that kid, he was fat and overweight when I got there, Fedora said.
Williams had 330 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame, which Fedora told him, would need to change.
Williams took the coachs honest assessment to heart and said he would drop the weight.
Williams, who had 54 tackles and an interception last season, is down to 300 pounds, Fedora said. He impressed his new coach in the process.
Well, you know how many times Ive heard that, you know, in talking to players? Fedora said. But you know what? You talk to Sly right now, hes 300 pounds. I mean, thats what he is.
Theres something about the kid. When he tells you hes going to do it, hes going to do it. And theres a lot of kids who dont do it that way.
QBs galore at Duke: Duke coach David Cutcliffe is a noted quarterback guru, with both Eli and Peyton Manning seeking his tutelage.
Cutcliffe loves quarterbacks so much, hes going to use three this season, and sometimes hell use all three at the same time.
Senior Sean Renfree still is the starter, as he has been for two season, but he will be joined by sophomores Anthony Boone and Brandon Connette.
Cutcliffe plans to use Boone and Connette, who both usually play as a change-of-pace to Renfree, as slot receivers. With injuries in the receiving corps and at tight end, Duke needs athletic bodies, and Boone at 6 foot and 230 pounds and Connette, at 6-2 and 225 pounds, are two of Dukes best athletes.
Were going to have a little fun, Cutcliffe said of the versatility of a unprecedented three-quarterback set.
Still, theres a chance some of Renfrees consistency issues are related to being pulled for either Boone or Connette when the offense gets to the red zone. Boone and Connette have combined for nine rushing touchdowns the past two years.
Sean has no issues of feeling like that hes getting ready to get the hook, Cutcliffe said. Hes our starting quarterback.
Tar Heel dismissed: North Carolina receiver Todd Harrelson has been dismissed for a violation of team rules, Fedora said.
Harrelson, a native of Chesapeake, Va., missed the final four games of last season but served as starting punt returner for six games. After redshirting his freshman season, he spent two seasons as a receiver before playing in the defensive backfield last season.
He switched back to receiver in the spring, and was listed on the preseason depth chart as one of the Tar Heels three starting receivers. Harrelson caught three passes for 42 yards during his three seasons, and returned five punts for 39 yards. Staff Writer Andrew Carter contributed.