December 15, 2009

Hamilton can't wait to be a Dawg

Jakar Hamilton can't wait to get his Georgia football career underway.

He doesn't have to wait long.

The verbal commitment from Georgia Military College will be in Athens Thursday for orientation at UGA, where he will sign up for spring semester classes which begin in January.

"Man, I can't wait to get there," Hamilton said Tuesday afternoon in a telephone interview with UGASports. "I've been waiting a long time; I can't wait to get my Bulldog career underway."

But who will be the safety's defensive coordinator?

It's been over two weeks since former defensive coordinator Willie Martinez was fired, along with John Jancek and Jon Fabris.

Several names have surfaced as potential candidates. Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster was contacted by Georgia, but re-upped to stay with the Hokies. Kansas State co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was thought to be in the hunt, but published reports have Koenning signing on to become the new defensive coordinator at Illinois.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart's name also continues to get prominent mention, simply because the Bulldog letterman has not publically stated he's definitely not a candidate for the job.

As far as when any announcement might come, Hamilton understands it could be later than many first thought.

"He (Coach Richt) said it would probably be after the bowls, or sometime like that, but he did not give a specific time," Hamilton said. "So, I want to say it's probably after the bowl."

Although Hamilton regrets that he won't get to play for Martinez, he understands college football is a business.

That was one of the messages he said Richt explained when he called to talk about the changes shortly after they were announced.

"The way Coach Richt explained it to me, sometimes you've got to do what you don't want to do in life and that's part of being a head coach," Hamilton said. "The defense didn't do so well, so he had to make changes, for better or for worse. It is what it is."

Hamilton said he never considered reneging on his commitment to the Bulldogs once he heard of the changes that were made.

Although he continues to get bombarded with calls from coaches at Alabama, West Virginia, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Auburn - each trying to convince him to change his mind. Hamilton said they're just wasting their breath.

"It would have been different if Coach Richt had left, but he's the reason I committed, plus the tradition of the school," Hamilton said. "I don't think a player should commit just for a coach, they should commit for what the school has to offer. Georgia is ranked No. 1 in the APR, and is one of the top academic schools in the SEC; to me it's the total package. Plus, I get to play for a good, Christian coach like Coach Richt; it's everything I ever wanted."

Hamilton was in Athens over the weekend and attended Saturday night's Gala, where he hung out with fellow Bulldog commits T.J. Stripling along with brothers Alec and Zander Ogletree.

"It was just a great night, everybody had a good time," Hamilton said. "It (the Gala) was better than I ever thought it was going to be. To see all the love that was shown to the football team and the seniors - it was really wonderful."

Hamilton doesn't plan on wasting any time getting himself prepared for the 2010 campaign.

With free safety Bryan Evans graduating and Reshad Jones a possibility to leave early for the NFL, Hamilton will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact with the Bulldogs next fall.

He talks frequently with Bulldog sophomore Bacarri Rambo, along with Alec Ogletree, who he believes will make an impact as a true freshman.

"I've really bonded with all the players, (Brandon) Boykin, everybody, all through the recruiting process. Rambo keeps telling me he's really happy I'm coming here; he thinks we can be the best safety duo in the SEC next year," Hamilton said. "I'm just ready to get out there. You can put me and (Rambo) at safety, Rambo and Tree (Ogletree) at safety, me at corner - I'll even play some wide receiver if they'll let me. It's going to be wonderful to see."

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