Jakar Hamilton has been on campus for two weeks and he's wasted little time trying to fit in.
The safety, who enrolled early at Georgia after a stellar two-year career at Georgia Military, said Wednesday he's barely had a moment to collect his thoughts since arriving in Athens for the start of Spring Semester.
"It's been hectic. Between going to class, trying to get to know everybody, learning how things are run at Georgia, it's been pretty busy," Hamilton said. "Friends are always trying to call, but I tell them I'm busy, 'Y'all got to hit me up later.'"
The way Hamilton sees it he's got little time to waste.
With both safety positions open following the graduation of Bryan Evans and Reshad Jones' decision to leave early for the NFL, Hamilton knows he'll have ample opportunity to earn one of the two spots this spring.
He's already gained six pounds - up from 194 to 200 since his arrival - but Hamilton said he's not taking anything for granted, especially with a new defensive coordinator in Todd Grantham and a new secondary coach in Scott Lakatos, who have never seen him play before.
"I can't wait to see how he's (Grantham) going to push us," Hamilton said. "Defense wins games, and I'm excited to hear how he's going to work us up. We hear we're going to pressure the quarterback, and that's exciting because it's going to give the defensive backs more opportunities to get some turnovers."
Hamilton and returning safety Bacarri Rambo have already struck a friendly chord.
"We talk about this being the best safety duo in the SEC; that's what we're pushing for," Hamilton said. "We talk about it on our way to class; we're always encouraging each other, even when we're out there running."
There's already some friendly competition taking place between the two.
During daily weight sessions, Hamilton joked that he'll do whatever he can to keep his new teammate from getting the better of him, no matter the weight or amount of reps Rambo decides to do.
"Every day it's a competition," he said. "If Rambo gets up and does a high weight, that's what I want to do. If Washaun (Ealey) does it, I'm gonna do it, too. If Rambo's going to do an extra set, then I'm going to do an extra set. But that's all about building trust and how you become a family."
Hamilton even said he's excited for the start of Mat Drills, which will get underway either the first or second week of February.
Georgia's Mat Drills have a reputation of taking a considerable toll on the players, but Hamilton smiled and said that after what he went through at Georgia Military, he's optimistic he'll be able to make it through.
"We had mat drills at GMC, but theirs was at 5:30 in the morning out in the cold," Hamilton said. "Coach (Bert) Williams really pushed us hard, and I thank him for that. I plan on doing the same thing here and do whatever I can to get on the field."
Nicknamed "The Hitman," Hamilton earned a reputation for being the most ferocious tackler on the GMC squad.
He hopes to live up to his reputation at Georgia.
"It's a lot (of pressure) to try to live up to that, but that's what I want to do," Hamilton said. "I want to be like Greg Blue and Thomas Davis and try to do what they did while they were here, so when I leave, everybody will know that I was 'The Hitman.'"
Ironically, Hamilton's brother Michael Goodson, is a teammate of Davis with the Carolina Panthers.
"I haven't talked to (Davis) yet, but I'd like to; get some advice of how to play safety and what to expect while I'm here," he said.
BULLDOG NOTES: Defensive end Demarcus Dobbs said that teammate Montez Robinson appears to have turned over a new leaf following his recent arrests which landed him an indefinite suspension from head coach Mark Richt. "I've talked to Montez a couple of times and you can just tell when a guy has a total change of attitude," Dobbs said. "I don't know if it was him going home for the bowl game, talking to his family or whatever it was, he's come with a brand new attitude. He comes to work every day, he's happy and he's upbeat. He wasn't like that before. He was always a mellow guy, kind of finding his way. Now, there's a complete difference in him and I'm excited to see what he's going to do.
Junior DeAngelo Tyson said he has no problem playing noseguard in Grantham's 3-4 scheme if that's what the Bulldogs' new defensive coordinator wants him to do. "I think I'd be the one in the middle," said Tyson, who weighs 295 pounds. "If I am, I'm going to work hard and play it to the best of my abilities."
Early enrollee Kolton Houston said he expects to work at both tackle and guard for the Bulldogs. He hopes to get a few pointers from his new roommate, backup lineman A.J. Harmon. "There were really no other rooms. It was either him, two baseball players or a tennis player so I told them I'd just fly with A.J."
Grantham and presumably Lakatos will address their new players in a defensive team meeting Friday morning.
Cornerback Brandon Boykin admitted he was like a lot of fans when he learned that Lakatos was going to be his new position coach - He looked him up on the Internet. "I did," Boykin said. "All that came up was the UConn site, so I just tried to get an image to see what he looks like. But as far as everything else, I'm just looking forward to meeting him (Friday)."
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