It’s easy to think that Winter Park wide receiver Xavier Amerson is the Robin to Dvario Montgomery’s Batman.
After all, Montgomery is rated as Central Florida's No.1 overall player in the Sentinel Super60 and with nearly 40 scholarship offers, it’s hard to steal the spotlight from the highly touted wideout.
But Amerson (6-3, 200) is no sidekick.
A terrific summer on the 7-on-7 circuit has exponentially increased the senior’s stock. Week after week Amerson has dominated his side of the field opposite Montgomery.
Yet it has been hard to decipher how much of Amerson’s production was a direct benefit of Montgomery’s presence.
Well Amerson’s true value is clear now.
With Montgomery and several other seniors absent last week at the Florida Premier 7s at ESPN's Wide World of Sports, Amerson finally got his chance to be THE man.
“I feel like I had to step up and carry a lot of the load,” Amerson said. “I had to score touchdowns and play defense … I felt like I had to play even harder because they weren’t there, but that’s part of being a senior. It’s part of being a leader on the team.”
Amerson logged close to 20 touchdowns during the three-day tournament and helped lead the Wildcats into the championship game, where they fell short against Miami Booker T. Washington.
“We didn’t play like we played earlier in the day,” Amerson said of the 48-14 loss to Booker T. “We weren’t making the right reads, we were dropping passes, not running the right routes. I don’t know if it was the heat or what.”
The Wildcats might have had to settle for second place, but Amerson proved he does not.
“I can be a No. 1 but I don’t focus on being a No.1 or No.2 ... I just do what I got to do,” Amerson said. “When Dvario is here we share the ball, but if I have to be the No.1 receiver, I’ll be the No.1 receiver.”
Amerson — 294 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the 2010 regular season — is looking to carry his summer success into the upcoming season. He also hopes colleges recognize the hard work he’s done on and off the field this offseason. He has taken several summer school classes to remain eligible.
Several in-state schools like FAU, UCF and USF could offer Amerson once word about his improved academic situation gets out. So far he has offers from N.C. State, Memphis, Virginia, Western Michigan and Washington State.
Amerson’s busy summer will likely wrap up with a couple of visits next week to Middle Tennessee and N.C. State. There’s a decent possibility he could even commit if he likes the way things turn out at N.C. State.
“We’ll see,” he said with a laugh.
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