Georgia loses Hamilton, but has developed depth at safety position

Jakar Hamilton, who had hoped to make a run at one of Georgia’s starting safety jobs, is expected to miss this season due to a stress fracture in his ankle.

David Manning/Staff Georgia senior safety Jakar Hamilton, right, will likely miss the season because of a stress fracture in his ankle.
David Manning

Hamilton, listed at No. 2 on the depth chart at free safety entering the preseason, missed most of preseason practices with what was thought to be a hamstring injury.

The senior signaled the injury was more serious when he posted on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon that he “never thought this would happen to me.”

The injury hits the Bulldogs at a position where they at least have developed some depth.

“I think we’re in pretty good shape there,” coach Mark Richt said.

Bacarri Rambo is a returning starter and Shawn Williams has all but nailed down a starting job, but Sanders Commings, not Rambo, worked with the No. 1 unit in Wednesday’s practice at safety, according to Williams

Williams said Brandon Boykin, Branden Smith and Jordan Love were the cornerbacks in the nickel package. Commings was a starter at corner last season.

Freshman safety Corey Moore was already working on the second team and could benefit now that Hamilton is out.

“I would imagine that would light a fire under him a little bit,” Richt said.

Richt called the No. 1 defense “very good” in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Williams had seven tackles and Love had six. Rambo had six tackles and an interception.

Williams said he sees a secondary that is “capable of going two-deep.”

Of the safeties, Richt said: “I think we have some veterans that have really done well and there are some young, talented guys that if we had some catastrophic injury issues, I think at least we’d have some guys there that at least are physically capable of doing it if we don’t make it too complicated.”

Williams has enjoyed a strong camp to solidify his hold on the No. 1 spot.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Hamilton came to Georgia last year from Georgia Military College as the nation’s No. 2 junior college prospect behind Auburn’s Cam Newton and with a flashy nickname — “Hit Man.”

But he started only five games was relegated to backup duty, finishing the season with 27 tackles and an interception.

He said this spring that he became more of a student of the game, coming in after 6 a.m. for film study.

“This is my last go-round,” he said this spring. “I have nothing to lose. I’m all-in.”

Hamilton battled Williams for the starting job in the spring before being sidelined with a concussion midway through practices.

Now he’ll likely miss the entire season.

“It’s the kind of fracture where you’ve got to have some bone scans to really see it,” Richt said. “He’s been having some issues and you couldn’t really just locate exactly where it was. One day it was in one spot and one day it was in another.”

Hamilton is eligible for a redshirt and could return in 2012.

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