If you didn't get to read it over the weekend, I had a story in Sunday's Telegraph on the quick start junior college transfer Jakar Hamilton has enjoyed in his first few weeks at Georgia. The kid certainly doesn't lack confidence.
Anyway, I had a chance to chat with Jakar for a while last week, so I figured it'd be a perfect time for the second installment of this year's "Get to Know..." series.
David Hale: I've talked to Bacarri Rambo, who said you've already been pushing yourself pretty hard these first few weeks on campus. What's it been like?
Jakar Hamilton: Every day in the weight room now is competition. Rambo is going to get up and do high weight, so I’m going to do it. Washaun will do high weight, so I’m going to do it. We’re all pushing each other in the weight room. If he’s going to do it, then I’m going to do it. And if I can’t, then I’m going to get a spot and work towards it. That’s what I’m doing now.
DH: There are a couple of starting jobs open at safety. Is that what you and Rambo are talking about?
JH: I talk to him all the time about the best safety duo in the SEC. 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.
DH: Well, your path to get here wasn't exactly the traditional one. In fact, you've moved around quite a bit in your life. What was your favorite place you lived?
JH: It's got to be Houston. I've lived in New Jersey, I've lived in West Virginia. I've lived in South Carolina. But there's nothing like Houston. It's just a great atmosphere. You see stars just about every day -- basketball players, rappers, actors. Even at the airport, you'll see Beyonce come through once or twice. Motumbo came through. It's just a great experience living in Houston.
DH: Well your new position coach is a Jersey guy, too. Will you have a few Jersey stories to swap with him?
JH: Oh yeah, lots of them. I like shopping in New Jersey. It's a cool place to live at.
DH: After high school, you ended up at Georgia Military College. That's a tough transition for anyone, and I've talked to guys like Corvey Irvin and Jarius Wynn who did it before. What was your experience at GMC like?
JH: It was hard. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. But in the back of my mind, I made my decision that it was either I do it here or I can go back home and be on the streets. It's hard to quit. I have a bunch of people back home who would beat me up. So I'd just read the Bible, pray to God each night before I went to sleep and thank him. I got my way through there, and now I'm here. So hard work is starting to pay off. And I'm still working.
DH: Now that you're gone, do you find yourself appreciating things more?
JH: Oh yeah, I really appreciate it. I called up my DB coach and I thank him for pushing me. The hard work I did, I thought it was stupid at the time, like 'Why are we doing this?' But now I see why, because I thought it would be better coming here, but we also work hard. GMC actually prepped me up for something like this, so I'm really thankful for GMC.
DH: You have an older brother -- Mike Goodson -- who plays with the Carolina Panthers. Does having someone you're so close to who has already made it to the NFL provide you with a good template on how it's done?
JH: People asked me if I was going to go to Texas A&M (where Goodson played), but I didn't want to live up under my brother's name. He made his name, and I'm going to make mine. But since he made it, I've got to make it. I also have another brother, my second-oldest brother, he plays point guard at Gonzaga. So hopefully he'll be going to the NBA, and I'll do what I do here, and all three of us will be in professional leagues. So I just keep praying every day that that happens.
DH: So which of you was the best athlete?
JH: I don't know. It was always kind of even, but I was stuck in the middle. My oldest brother, Michael, he always played football. Demetri was always playing basketball. I was stuck with both, so I had to choose between basketball and football. My dad told me (to pick) and I listened to him and just stuck with football. But I hated football. I hated it. I cried when he made me play. But I started it and I was like, 'Wow, I'm really good at it.' I thank him, I thank God, I thank GMC, and now I'm thanking Georgia for giving me the opportunity to come here.
DH: When did you start playing football?
JH: I think it was my eighth grade year. I was a really good basketball player and started playing running back and went from there.
DH: So at what point did you decide there might be a future in football for you?
JH: First game I scored four touchdowns at running back and thought, 'Wow, I kind of like this, running people over and juking them.' From there on out, I just loved it.
DH: You played a bunch of different positions. Which was your favorite?
JH: Receiver. I loved receiver because small cornerbacks, and I was kind of big, taller than everybody. So I just slapped them out the way and go catch the ball for a touchdown.
DH: OK, last question is a basketball one. Rambo says you've already impressed him on the court, but Georgia's got a bunch of good hoops players like Brandon Boykin and A.J. Green. How do you stack up?
JH: Oh yeah, A.J. can shoot. But the other day we were playing basketball and I jumped over somebody's head for an alley-oop and dunked it. After that, everybody was like, man, this guy can play. In high school I took my team to the third round of the playoffs and was mentioned All-State. I ended up breaking my foot, which put me back from playing in an All-Star game. But I've seen A.J. play, and Boykin can jump to. I don't know. It'd be a pretty good match with me and them three.