Friday Farrago

December 9, 2011


ncsu helmet

News and Observer
Amerson is All-America

N.C. State sophomore cornerback David Amerson has been named to the 2011 Walter Camp All-America first team. The team was recognized Thursday at the Home Depot/ESPN College Football Awards Show in Orlando, where Amerson is also a candidate for the Thorpe Award.

Earlier this week, the Greensboro native was named the winner of the 2011 Jim Tatum Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back. He leads the nation in interceptions with 11, four more than any other player on an FBS team.

Amerson tied the ACC single-season interception record with his 11th pick against Clemson on Nov. 19. He set the N.C. State mark against North Carolina on Nov. 5, breaking the record that had stood since 1938.

Only three other players in N.C. State history have been named to the Walter Camp first team and Amerson is the first in 32 years. Other Wolfpack players who were Camp All-Americans were center Jim Ritcher (1979), offensive guard Bill Yoest (1973) and defensive end Dennis Byrd (1967).

Brett Friedlander (
No Thorpe Award for Amerson … no credibility for Thorpe Award

What’s a guy got to do to get the postseason recognition he deserves?

In the case of N.C. State cornerback David Amerson, apparently you have to do more than lead the nation and tie an ACC record with 11 interceptions.

Despite all those picks, to go along with 51 tackles, Amerson still wasn’t able to win the Jim Thorpe Award, symbolic of the nation’s top defensive back. Instead, the trophy went to LSU’s Morris Claiborne – who isn’t even the best defensive back on his own team.

Congratulations, Jim Thorpe Association. Your award just lost all credibility. Perhaps you should redefine the description of your trophy from “the best defensive back in college football” to “the best defensive back who happens to play for a high-profile SEC team.”

The last three winners have come from SEC schools, including two straight from LSU.

Brett Friedlander (
Belk Bowl a perfect venue for Bryan’s Wolfpack finale

Some might argue that the Belk Bowl in Charlotte isn’t the most attractive venue for a youngster getting ready to play his final college football game.

They obviously haven’t consulted with N.C. State tight end George Bryan.

Other than playing for the national title or in the Orange Bowl as the ACC champ, the New Hanover High graduate couldn’t think of a better setting to end his career with the Wolfpack. It’s almost as if game organizers consulted with him before setting up its pregame schedule of bowl-related events.

Not only will the pregame concert feature a performance by Edwin McCain, who Bryan said was his “favorite,” but Bryan will also get to fulfill a lifelong dream by getting into a race car and going more than 150 MPH during the traditional ridealong at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

Brian Reinhardt (
Program Spotlight: T.J. Graham

Not many ACC football players get to cap off their career holding an ACC record. The league has stretched over 59 years, and numerous All-Americans and NFL Draft picks have played in this conference.

Senior wide receiver T.J. Graham is an exception.

In Pack’s 37-13 home win over No. 7 Clemson a couple of weeks ago, Graham became the ACC’s all-time leader in kickoff return yardage. Heading into his final game at NC State at the Belk Bowl, Graham has amassed 3,090 kickoff return yards during his four-year career.

“That record means a lot to me,” said Graham. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into my career, and returning kicks was the way I got onto the field my freshman year. That was the way I contributed to the team that year, and just over the years, I’ve always taken pride in being a top returner to help out this team.

“It is a great milestone, and something I will look back upon with a great sense of accomplishment.”

After a stellar career at local Wakefield High School, Graham stepped onto the field as a true freshman in 2008. He finished 29th nationally in kickoff return yards, and was named an honorable mention All-ACC performer.

The Sports Xchange (
Bridgewater Leads The Cards


— QB Teddy Bridgewater is just a freshman, but he’s played beyond his years in leading the Cardinals to the postseason.

“It’s amazing to watch how Teddy Bridgewater has gotten better and better and better each week,” coach Charlie Strong said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been around a player who’s been so poised as Teddy. He knows he’s nowhere near where he should be, and he just wants to go be a really outstanding football player.”


Scouting the run defense: Louisville has one of the best run defenses in the country, and it’s very adept at getting into the backfield. It enters the postseason having held its last two opponents under rushing 100 yards, including limiting UConn’s Lyle McCombs, the Big East’s leading rusher, to 33 yards on the ground.

Scouting the pass defense: The Cardinals are solid on pass defense, though they don’t force a ton of turnovers (nine interceptions in 12 games). Louisville had an issue in the first half of the season in giving up big plays, but as the secondary has gotten more experienced and more comfortable, those catastrophic mistakes have become a lot more rare.

The Sports Xchange (
Quick Take: Louisville

Had Connecticut beaten Cincinnati on the final day of the regular season, the Cardinals would have won the tiebreaker and made a BCS game.

But the Huskies couldn’t make that happen, and Louisville lost a three-way tiebreaker to West Virginia, a team it beat in Morgantown in early November. As a consolation prize, Louisville earned a trip to the Belk Bowl in Charlotte for a matchup with the ACC’s North Carolina State.

Like Louisville, North Carolina State has a former top recruit in his first year as the starting quarterback. Strong’s club starts true freshman Teddy Bridgewater, while the Wolfpack has redshirt junior Mike Glennon. Bridgewater’s supporting class is probably better at the skill positions, though N.C. State’s James Washington and Tony Creecy are a solid running back tandem and the speedy receiver T.J. Graham is a threat to go the distance every time he touches the ball.

The Sports Xchange (
Glennon Heats Up


Scouting the running game: This was an area of great concern because of offseason injuries, but it has fallen into good hands with RB James Washington making a significant impact during his junior season. The most impressive part about Washington might be his durability as he has been called upon for some heavy-duty games at times this season.

Redshirt freshman RB Tony Creecy has shown signs that he could have a solid career ahead of him and he has been a dependable backup as he gains more experience and puts himself in line for an increased role in the future.

Scouting the passing game: The conversation starts with QB Mike Glennon, who has been a steady influence at the quarterback position. His receiving corps has gone through some ups and downs, but with WR T.J. Graham, a sprinter in track and field, there’s always the long-ball threat.

TE George Bryan had trouble getting untracked during parts of the season but he came on strong at the end because he’s considered a key part of the passing attack.


unc fallout

3 ways Fedora fits

The hiring of Larry Fedora as North Carolina’s new football coach makes sense on three important fronts:

1. He’s a college insider: Unlike Butch Davis, UNC’s hire in 2007, Fedora isn’t arriving from outside of the college culture.

2.He knows offense: Fedora’s entire background has been on offense.

From Baylor to Air Force to Middle Tennessee to Florida to Oklahoma State before he was picked by Southern Miss athletic director and a former Duke sports information director Richard Giannini to take over for popular Jeff Bower, Fedora has been an offensive specialist.

3.Gratitude: Fedora will be so thrilled by UNC’s facilities that he would have to win two or three ACC championships to request any sort of additional bells and whistles.

By Conference USA standards, UNC has all the trimmings of a football utopia – first-rate infrastructure, beatable in-league opponents, receptive fan base and reasonable expectations.

There will have to be a recruiting adjustment. Southern Miss has 15 junior college transfers on its 2011 roster, and that’s about average for the Eagles. The JuCo recruiting strategy has been a program staple for the past 20 years.

News and Observer
Fedora: Team means family

It was an early morning phone call on Nov. 14 that Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora will never forget.

The call informed Fedora that three of his football players had been shot in the parking lot of a Hattiesburg night club.

“It was obviously a bad feeling,” Fedora said. “I didn’t hear the phone. My son, Dillon, came down the stairs and woke me up after (defensive coordinator) Todd (Bradford) called him.

“Dillon said ‘Dad, there’s an emergency.’ As soon as I got on the phone with Todd, my stomach turned upside down. It was a terrible feeling. It was a terrible feeling driving to the hospital. Then I got to the hospital and saw the ordeal and that was really tough.”

Shot were linebackers Martez Smith, Tim Green and defensive end Deddrick Jones.

“They are three of my kids,” Fedora said. “They are just like my own sons and that was a very difficult thing to see. I can tell you there is no class that you can take to prepare you for something like this.

“All I could draw on were the things the game of football teaches you on how to overcome what life throws at you.”

About 1.21 Jigawatts

Class of '98, Mechanical Engineer, State fan since arriving on campus and it's been a painful ride ever since. I live by the Law of NC State Fandom, "For every Elation there is an equal and opposite Frustration."

'11 Football Big Four Rivals College Football UNC Scandal

13 Responses to Friday Farrago

  1. Codebrown 12/09/2011 at 9:50 AM #

    Complete snub job of Amerson. If he was on any SEC team, he’d be the Def Player of the Year.

  2. VaWolf82 12/09/2011 at 10:11 AM #

    Sucks to be in the BE. A three-way conference champion drops all the way to Charlotte.

  3. vtpackfan 12/09/2011 at 10:16 AM #

    BTW, we need to fill up Reynolds against NCCU.
    They have a great athlete in Sutton (K State transfer) who will be a good match up with Calvin. They also have a white dude at SG who is every part a Scott Wood type shooter.

  4. WolfBlood 12/09/2011 at 10:50 AM #

    If Amerson played for LSU might be considered for Heisman. Charles Woodson had 42 tackles and 7 int’s his senior year.

    Amerson has 51 and 11 int’s. Only difference is he doesnt return punts.

  5. Prowling Woofie 12/09/2011 at 12:50 PM #

    ^ Bet he will next year…

  6. Packfan28 12/09/2011 at 1:27 PM #

    Woodson had 44 tackles and 8 INTs, but I get your point. He also had a rushing touchdown and 2 receiving touchdowns. I would love to see Amerson take some snaps on offense, but it probably won’t happen.

  7. pack76 12/09/2011 at 5:13 PM #

    Bummer!!! Amerson should have gotten the award going away!

    BTW, I have copies of the Wolfpacker magazine from 2005 – 2011, if anyone wants them, just come get them or pay for shipment. Let me know!

  8. logarithm 12/09/2011 at 8:37 PM #

    I think it should be noted that when Dre Bly set the ACC record for interceptions in ’96, he was also snubbed for the Thorpe award. Not sure if he lead the nation or what his tackle or passes defended numbers were like, but yeah. Clearly all ACC quarterbacks just close their eyes and throw the ball up for anybody who wants it.

  9. cc4ncspack 12/10/2011 at 2:25 AM #

    I hate the fact that INDIVIDUAL awards are given to a team, NOT the person. Amerson well deserved the trophy. Pack 76, I’d like the mags if nobody else has claimed them. Shoot me an email. [email protected].

  10. 44fan 12/10/2011 at 6:08 AM #

    Tell The Jim Thorpe people what you think..Be nice but tell them how they have lost all credibility.

  11. choppack1 12/10/2011 at 10:14 PM #

    Normally I’d agree…but if the guy from lsu won I don’t have a problem with it. He was the clear mvp on the number one team in America.

  12. tuckerdorm1983 12/10/2011 at 10:57 PM #

    just got back from the UNC and Long Beach state game. The heels are good, but not great. They make mental mistakes and only half hearted efforts. Barnes wanders about for 30 or so minutes before deciding to play. This team is beatable. They don’t have the IT that other UNC teams have. Sure Henson and Zeller are big, but the rest of the squad is up and down, even the coveted Harrison Barnes. Maybe they will get IT but I did not see it tonight. I saw a UNC team come out half-hearted and let an inferior squad hang around for well into the 2nd half.

  13. stillapackfan 12/12/2011 at 5:23 PM #

    So UNC is beatable? Get real. They’re gonna kill us. Face it. We couldn’t even beat them in the worst season they’ve had in years.

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