David Amerson faces boyhood friend

ASHBURN, Va. -- They celebrated on draft day together, co-hosting a party after competing at rival high schools in North Carolina. Sunday, however, they'll have mixed emotions: One will want to stay close; the other has no desire to be that way.

That's because corner David Amerson likely will be covering his boyhood friend, San Diego Chargers receiver Keenan Allen.

They targeted this game shortly after both were selected last April -- Amerson in the second round out of North Carolina State; Allen in the third round out of Cal.

"Any time you get a chance to play against one of your friends, it's like a dream come true," Amerson said.

The season has been a dream for both as each continues to make an impact. Allen has caught 26 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns. Amerson has intercepted one pass, returning it for a touchdown while serving mostly as the third corner, but starting three times and playing the majority of snaps as teams use three-receiver sets. He's coming off one of his stronger games against the Denver Broncos, who tested him deep on several occasions only to be denied.

Still, Amerson knows what he faces.

"My hands will be full," Amerson said.

But he's obviously familiar with Allen so there will be no surprises.

"It's just staying patient," he said. "He's going to give you a whole lot of wiggle, trying to get you off balance. Stay patient and believe in yourself and in your instincts. I don't feel he'll outrun me, so really it's just trying to stay on top of the quick little stuff."