ATHENS – Georgia has likely lost free safety Jakar Hamilton for the season.
The senior, who started five games last season and played in all 13, was diagnosed Wednesday with a stress fracture in his right ankle. Since it will require two to three months to heal, “my guess is he won’t play this year,” coach Mark Richt said.
Hamilton has been sidelined since the beginning of preseason camp with a hamstring pull. Richt wasn’t sure if Hamilton had suffered a new injury but said it required a bone scan to detect Hamilton’s fracture.
Hamilton will be able to redshirt. He transferred to UGA from Georgia Military College last year.
Meanwhile, junior Shawn Williams appears to have locked down the starting job at free safety. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound graduate of Early County High continues to draw praise daily for his good work in practice. He was second among defenders with seven tackles in Wednesday’s scrimmage.
Junior Sanders Commings and freshman Corey Moore will provide depth.
Richt on TE Orson Charles
Richt said he was fairly confident Orson Charles would not face eligibility issues in the wake of his inclusion in the Yahoo! Sports report on a rogue booster at Miami.
“I wouldn’t say I didn’t get too concerned about it, but I didn’t think about it a lot or dwell on it much,” Richt said after Wednesday’s practice. “I felt like it was something I couldn’t control and until I heard one way or another I was just going to move forward as if everything was going to be OK.”
Charles, a junior tight end and preseason All-SEC selection, was among dozens of athletes listed in a Yahoo! Sports story who allegedly had interactions with convicted felon Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims to have provided millions of dollars worth of improper benefits and services to former Miami players and recruits from 2002-2010.
Richt mum about Miami troubles
Richt is a Miami alum and football lettermen, but he was very measured in what he said about his alma mater’s problems.
“I haven’t read the report but I’ve been hearing about it,” he said. “It just sounded pretty dramatic, I guess would be a good word for it.”
Richt said he heard a brief radio report on Miami while driving to the Athens Holiday Inn to speak to the Rotary Club.
“I’m not one to throw stones because I know the bottom line is it’s hard to be perfect,” Richt said. “So, we’re just trying like mad to do things right.”
Crowell, Samuel miss scrimmage
Georgia conducted its second controlled scrimmage of the preseason on Wednesday at Sanford Stadium and it did so without its top two tailbacks.
Isaiah Crowell (pulled groin) and Richard Samuel (strained quad) were unable to participate due to injuries. Former walkon Brandon Harton (12 carries, 51 yards) and redshirt freshman Ken Malcome (5-10) filled in on the first team instead.
Richt said he’s not overly concerned about the running backs missing time at this point.
“I’m not too concerned now,” he said. “If they get to the two weeks prior to the game, I don’t think it will be took problematic.”
Richt said Crowell could return as early as Friday but Samuel will likely be next week.
Quarterback Aaron Murray was 11-of-16 for 108 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Backup Hutson Mason was 13-of-27 for 125 yards with no TDs or interceptions.
Rantavious Wooten led all receivers with 61 yards on five catches and a touchdown and Israel Troupe added five catches for 50 yards. Malcolm Mitchell had three for 37.
As he did in the first scrimmage, linebacker Alec Ogletree led all tacklers with eight. He also had a sack and a pass breakup. Bacarri Rambo and Jordan Love added six apience and Jarvis Jones had five and a sack. Rambo also had an interception.
Richt said there were no injuries but that center Ben Jones suffered from cramping, likely because he had a one-hour aerobics class earlier in the day.
Picture Day on Saturday
UGA’s annual Fans’ Picture Day is Saturday in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. Due to recent NCAA issues raised over the sell and trade of autographed memorabilia, fans will not be able to bring any outside items to be signed. The only thing UGA will permit to be signed is schedule posters. A limit of two per person will be provided.
Gates will open at 1 p.m. Head coach Mark Richt and players will be available at 3 p.m. Special ticket coupons are required for access to Richt and bulldog mascot. Those tickets will be distributed to the first 150 fans at 8 a.m. from the East End ticket windows on East Campus Road. All other teams will be available at 1.