Strom Thurmond grad Hamilton ready to step in at safety for UGA

Jakar Hamilton: Strom Thurmond graduate has a chance to start at safety for the Bulldogs next season.

ATHENS, Ga. --- The past two players Georgia recruited out of Georgia Military College turned into 2009 NFL Draft picks.

Safety Jakar Hamilton, a Strom Thurmond alumnus, is the latest to go from the Milledgeville, Ga., college to the Bulldogs' defense, following the footsteps of third-round pick Corvey Irvin and sixth-round pick Jarius Wynn, both linemen.

"I think he's a little bit further ahead than those guys," Georgia Military coach Bert Williams said. Irvin, a former Laney player, and Wynn, who played at Lincoln County, were backups in their first year at Georgia. Hamilton just might crack the starting lineup this season for new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.

Hamilton began classes at Georgia earlier this month and wasted no time aiming big with fellow safety Bacarri Rambo.

"I talk to Rambo all the time," he said. "We talk about (being) the best safety duo in the SEC and that's what we're pushing for. In the weight room, we say it. Out of the weight room, we say it. On the way to class, we say it."

The 2008 junior college All-American is joining a Bulldogs secondary that lost three starters, including safeties Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans.

"He's there for spring and has a good chance to learn what Todd's going to have them doing," Williams said. "He'll be able to step out there and have a big impact."

The nation's No. 2-rated junior college prospect, behind Auburn-bound quarterback Cameron Newton, selected the Bulldogs over a certain other Southeastern Conference team.

"Everybody says I should have went to Alabama, but I knew in my heart it was Georgia," Hamilton said. "You can't get no better than Georgia football. The fans are there every day, every hour and every minute. Even when I go out sometimes, I have people coming up to me, 'Are you Jakar Hamilton?' It makes me feel good as a football player that people know that you're here."

Hamilton was born in West Virginia and moved to South Carolina and then to Houston when he was in the eighth grade before again relocating to Johnston, S.C., to live with his mother before his junior year of high school.

He went to Georgia Military College to work on his academics and in two seasons racked up 88 tackles, six interceptions and 13 pass breakups.

That's where Hamilton earned the nickname "Hit Man" from teammates.

"I'm one of the players that just doesn't care," he said. "I'll throw my whole body. Even if I have to break something to do it, I'll do it. If it catches me a concussion, I'll do it."

Hamilton says he's hardly a finished product when it comes to making hits.

"I'm trying to really work on tackling," he said. "Right now I'm just trying to work on when to hit, when to give the blow, the big hits. At GMC I was just trying to hit everybody."

Hamilton watches tape of four-time All-Pro Brian Dawkins and Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and tries to imitate what they do.

"A lot of people expect me to come up here and be like Greg Blue and Thomas Davis. That's what I'm trying to do, get big, hit harder just like those two guys so when I leave everybody will know that I was the hit man."

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