July 6, 2009

GMC coach raves about Hamilton

MILLEDGEVILE - GMC defensive backs coach Rob Manchester doesn't pretend to know who defensive back Jakar Hamilton will commit to come Saturday afternoon.

He just knows one thing.

Whichever school he selects - be in Georgia or Alabama - that university will be getting a player capable of becoming a star on the next level of play.

"As a coach he makes you look good," Manchester said. "He bought in 100 percent to what we're coaching and I think that he will continue to do that wherever he goes from here. Whatever coach is coaching him, he'll buy in 100 percent to the philosophy of the defense."

Hamilton is scheduled to make his announcement around noon on Saturday in Augusta at the Wild Wings Café off of Washington Road.

Although he's being recruited as a safety, Manchester said his next college team will be getting one of the more versatile players he's seen.

At 6-foot-2 and 196 pounds, Hamilton has been timed at 4.4 in the 40-yard dash, speed Manchester said can help him play two other positions if need be.

"The thing with him is he can play corner or he can play safety. He can probably also play receiver. He did that from his high school days at Strom Thurmond," Manchester said. "I know he can play corner. He's got cover skills like a corner which probably will bring a little more to the table as far as what you end up getting with him."

As a safety, Manchester believes his pupil will have few peers.

"With other safeties, they may not be as great cover guys but he can play man-to-man easily on anybody's No. 1 or No. 2 receiver," Manchester said. "He's really that talented."

He added that Hamilton is one of just few players that actually lived up to the reputation he came with when he arrived on the Milledgeville campus.

"He came in where with us the spring or winter of last year and it took a while to get the rust off since he hadn't played a lot since his Strom Thurmond days, but he bought into what we were doing right away," Manchester said. "He kind of wanted to play receiver at first, but in my opinion receivers are really a dime a dozen. With someone like him with his kind of size, who can cover, it's just a natural at that position."

Hamilton's exploits on the football haven't been the only aspect that have caught Manchester's eye. His position as one of the top leaders in GMC's Corp of Cadets has also drawn attention.

"He's an officer in the Cadet Corps so he's got rank," Manchester said. "We usually have about 98 percent than conform and do fine with it, but he was definitely at the top of that 98 percent that didn't have a problem with adjusting to it."

Hamilton does well in the classroom as well.

According to Manchester, Hamilton will graduate in December and enroll at his new school come January.

"He's just a great kid," Manchester said. "I really think he's going to go far."

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