Practice report: Emergence of Shawn Williams eases pain of losing Hamilton

ATHENS – The bad news is the Bulldogs lost one-time starting safety Jakar Hamilton to a season-ending ankle injury this week. The good news for Georgia is there was a good chance Hamilton wouldn’t have started had he been healthy.

ShawnWilliams(UGA)

Williams

That’s chiefly because of the emergence of Shawn Williams. The junior from Early County has been one of the success stories in year two of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense. With Hamilton sidelined for the entirety of preseason, Williams has been as solid as a block of granite in the back third of the No. 1 unit.

And he knows it.

“I pretty much know each and every play what I’m supposed to do,” said Williams, who started three games and played in all 13 last season. “I’ve got it down pat. I’d say [I'm grading] at least 95 percent.”

Not only has the light come on for Williams in terms of understanding schemes and knowing responsibilities, but his confidence has gone through the roof.

In regard to his ability to field the position, he said: “I’ve got the perfect size at 6-1-and-a-half , 220 [pounds]. I can run real fast. A lot of people underestimate my speed. And when I hit, I hit real hard.”

On losing Hamilton to injury: “We’ve got enough to play. We’ve got enough to play two or three secondaries. I feel comfortable about it. If the ones can’t get it done, the twos can get it done. We’re good.”

Heading into the last two weeks of the preseason, Williams appears to have locked down the safety position opposite Bacarri Rambo (the strong and free positions are interchangeable in Grantham’s system). Hamilton, a five-game starter last year, was listed behind Rambo entering camp but figured to be the next safety on the field regardless.

So that means some playing time is on the table. Sanders Commings is working much more now at safety than cornerback. Georgia also has Marc Deas and Connor Norman to turn to.

But Hamilton was also a prominent special teams contributor.

“I would think a young man like [freshman] Corey Moore would probably get a better opportunity to play on specials and he’s one step closer to the field as a safety also,” Richt said. “I would imagine that will light a fire under him a little bit.”

Williams’ flame is already burning hot.

“My name’s coming up because every day I’m just working to get better,” he said. “I try to make plays. That’s what I ask myself every time I step out on the field. What can I do to make a play?”

Crowell gets some work

Freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell was able to get in some limited work after missing four practices over the last six days due to a groin injury.

“He didn’t look full speed,” Richt said, “but he was healthy enough to get out there in a green jersey and run some plays.”

Originally Richt had predicted Crowell would return on Friday. Fellow tailback Richard Samuel, sidelined with a strained thigh muscle, won’t be back until “sometime next week.”

Practice update

Georgia held a two-hour special teams scrimmage at Sanford Stadium on Thursday. The workout was punctuated with 20 minutes of 11-on-11 work.

Richt said junior cornerback Branden Smith is currently running first team as the punt returner. Smith was the top returner last season with 10 for 143 yards. Behind him is record-setting kickoff return man Brandon Boykin and freshmen Malcolm Mitchell and Damian Swann are “battling” for the No. 3 spot.

Asked if Georgia would operate with two deep safeties/return men on kickoff return this season, Richt said, “that’s classified information.” Boykin is the school record holder with 1,813 career yards on kickoff returns and four touchdowns.

Narrowing it down

Heading into the last half of preseason camp, the Bulldogs are almost ready to set the depth chart and start determining playing rotation. Richt said he and the coaching staff sat down this week and went over every freshman to determine whether the assistants were slating them for the two-deep on offense or defense and whether or not they’d be available for special teams.

Off of those evaluations the Bulldogs next week will organize the scout team and begin earnest preparation for the opener against Boise State. Richt wasn’t prepared to unveil any of those decisions.

“There’s some guys we’re pretty sure, there’s some guys we’re not sure and there’s some guys that probably won’t,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m ready to give all that out because that usually causes players and moms and dads to maybe be happy or sad or whatever. I’m not ready for that today.”

Etc. . . .

Sophomore defensive end Derrick Lott, who had a deep cut on his right leg from a scooter accident late this summer, is now practicing without limitations. He backs up DeAngelo Tyson at right defensive end. . . . Georgia has now completed 15 of 29 preseason practices. Number 16 will be a full-contact practice Friday at 4:30 p.m. . . . Picture Day is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. The Bulldogs are expected to unveil the Nike Pro Combat uniforms they’ll wear in the Sept. 3 opener.

280 comments Add your comment

NHS DAWG

August 18th, 2011
8:42 pm

esaun

August 18th, 2011
8:42 pm

Big Dawg

August 18th, 2011
8:42 pm

Take the bus

August 18th, 2011
8:46 pm

Nothing good to wriite about Tech because We Run This State!

Scambled dawg

August 18th, 2011
8:46 pm

Go DOGS !!!!!! Sic ‘em………………..

D A DoubleU G

August 18th, 2011
8:49 pm

I really am excited to see this team play.

From what I have seen ever since the Liberty fiasco, I could not be more proud of the coaching, leadership, and team attitude!

I hope to god we beat Boise and USCe, but if we don’t it’s simply because they are the better team.

Hunker down!! and GO DAWGS!!!

DougsMugs

August 18th, 2011
8:49 pm

Poll, what are you looking more forward to? Sept. 3rd vs Boise, or the 2012 Elections?

DustDAWG

August 18th, 2011
8:51 pm

national champs this yr and next and the next

ArkDawg

August 18th, 2011
8:54 pm

All i want to see is the defense stepping up and hittin some folks this year. I got so sick of passive defense last year. I am lookin forward to seeing Murray with one season under his belt, now hes had a spring and summer workin with an offense that didnt completely revolve around one guy. I like what I am hearing so far but it all means nothing til September 3,lookin forward to it. GO DAWGS!

UGA Alumnus

August 18th, 2011
9:00 pm

Let’s Go Dawgs!

Dawg Whisperer

August 18th, 2011
9:01 pm

If nothing else, Shawn is a confident young man. I guess that’s a good thing if you’re gonna win in the SEC.

D Fence

August 18th, 2011
9:07 pm

I’ll reserver judgement til 12:AM on Sept 4 but this defense might actually be pretty stout this year for a refreshinglywillie change. Come on boys – GATA!

bamadawg

August 18th, 2011
9:08 pm

I’m starting to get nervous. Only 15 days and a wake up. GO DAWGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Troup Co. Dawg

August 18th, 2011
9:10 pm

The only way NHS safety gets taken away from UGA is if someone like Bama or AU pays the guy…I think he will follow in Tree’s footsteps! Can’t wait till 9/3…makes my leg tingle! GO DAWGS!!!

Shawn

August 18th, 2011
9:17 pm

This D will shut down many people who are expecting to run wild. They will be the difference between the 6-7 record last year and this years undefeated till SEC Champ game in the dome. I am not calling them the winner there yet but I do believe this is going to be a surprisingly good team this year due to the focus they seem to have! Go Dawgs!

poopdawg

August 18th, 2011
9:23 pm

Shawn , i hope your right . GO DAWGS!

Toccoa Dawg

August 18th, 2011
9:43 pm

Glad to see CMR keeping everything close to the vest,so to speak. Don’t tell anything you don’t have too.

GaTruth

August 18th, 2011
9:46 pm

What great tests in games 1 and 2! We WILL know the truth about our Dawgs! Talked to an insider at SC, Lattimore has gained 16 pounds in the weight room and dropped a tenth off his 40. If we can shut him down and make Garcia win it, our D will be worth braggin’ about and Grantham can take a bow.

GaTruth

August 18th, 2011
9:50 pm

BTW, D coaches, if you are reading this, pass coverage as soft as our immigration policy will only get us killed. Make the corners play it as tight as Joan Jett’s leather pants

Daisy

August 18th, 2011
9:59 pm

We now have the complete list of courses that Isaiah Crowell will be taking in the fall semester. It’s a pretty ambitious schedule for the lad, but I’m sure he’ll be up to it.

1. Know Your ABCs – Part I (A-M)

2. Fun With Dick and Jane – The Coloring Book

3. Life Studies: Put the Mojo on Your Teammates While Emptying Their Lockers

4. Law 101 – Know Your Miranda Rights

5. Dress for Success: The Inspiring True Story of the Fabled Red Panties

6. Arithmetic 1 – Multiplying by One

7. Psychology: Getting Along With Your Cellmate

bamadawg

August 18th, 2011
10:00 pm

I love the political analogies. GaTruth,what immigration policy (FEDS not upholding the law) and DougsMugs,that,s a close one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bitter rouge booster

August 18th, 2011
10:03 pm

like my work at MIAMI and yet to be discovered —ALL-BURN WAR HOGGS——-hahahahah

—————————-PAY FOR PLAY————TROLLS

jaglaw

August 18th, 2011
10:12 pm

Guys remember ….Saban and Bama were 6-6 the year preceding their national title . Saban and Outbursts smart have high praise for Grantham. This defense should be really good. We may have to win games with low scoring….but win we will.

kybodawg

August 18th, 2011
10:24 pm

if we dont beat boise all i can say is its george bushs fault.

mark

August 18th, 2011
10:29 pm

Read some of the Boise blogs…They truly believe their O line and D line will totally dominate the Dawgs. What say you?

The Bus Drivers Dawg

August 18th, 2011
10:32 pm

You Can Feel The Tension — Man What A Ride —

Get After Their A$$e$ — !

Go Dawgs !

jaglaw

August 18th, 2011
10:33 pm

Mark,

Didn’t Boise loose three starting o linemen?

Mobile Dawg

August 18th, 2011
10:33 pm

jaglaw, check your math. I believe it was two years after the 6-6 start. They did go 12-0 but lost to UF in the SECCG. Saban’s third year they won it all.

jp

August 18th, 2011
10:34 pm

JAGLAW BAMA WAS 12 AND 2 WITH LOSSES TO FLA AND UTAH . THEY WON IT THE NEXT YEAR

The Bus Drivers Dawg

August 18th, 2011
10:35 pm

kybo dawg, DID YOU EVER GO TO IMMOCKALEE ?

jp

August 18th, 2011
10:36 pm

BOISE DID LOSE STARTING GUARD AND TACKLE

teewest

August 18th, 2011
10:43 pm

Chip Do you remember me telling you Williams was gonna be next great UGA safety? I will tell ya like my uncle Bo used to tell us “Son if I tell you it’s gonna rain Cats and Dogs don’t argue with your uncle just grab your umbrella”!!!

slydog

August 18th, 2011
10:43 pm

I have one problem with CMR and his comments this pre-season. For a man who claims to be so fired up, his unwillingness to divulge who is working their tail off as opposed to who isn’t, is the biggest difference between him and coaches like CPJ, Saban, Muschamp, Meyer (at one time), and the rest of the SEC coaches. These are kids, mostly. Mom and Dad need to know whether their son is giving a good effort or is whining. Since he doesn’t light any fires, then maybe they can…lol. This is football, not golf. There is no need to be so cordial about it. I respect the fact he doesn’t want to embarrass players publicly and all that, but this 2011 man, come off it. Everyone cannot be a winner. You can’t have winners if you don’t have losers. Tony Dungy may be the nicest coach to ever win anything, but in reality, he was lucky. He had Peyton Manning vs Rex Grossman…lol. The “Georgia Way” should not include saving face.

Mobile Dawg

August 18th, 2011
10:47 pm

He’s obviously a Democrat Sly, you just can’t have it both ways.

flagboy?

August 18th, 2011
10:50 pm

awww. . Daisy. Bitter much?

maybe there isn’t much news for whatever team it is you support. . go figure.

BirdDog

August 18th, 2011
10:54 pm

Man I can’t wait to see these guys play. Kickoff just over 2 weeks away, Go Dawgs!

Old Blind Dawg

August 18th, 2011
11:03 pm

Sly I suspect every young man on the team is working their tail off. They are on a mission…………..

slydog

August 18th, 2011
11:04 pm

Daisy isn’t bitter, he/she is a racist, in black and white.

@Mobile Dawg well, if he was a Republican, he wouldn’t have a plan at all…lmao

T-Dawg

August 18th, 2011
11:08 pm

Hmmm…. Didn’t know we got submissions from the federal pen. where DAISY is someone’s bithc [sic].

drbasic

August 18th, 2011
11:19 pm

Daisy

You should really be ashamed of yourself for cutting down a human being like that. Again, I guess you have to talk big behind that moniker on your screen. I think you just showed your maturity level, and besides that, if you said that to him face to face he would probably kick your a$$ across the state. Daisy…gender confusion?

drbasic

August 18th, 2011
11:21 pm

please don’t make this blog 2 pages of politics like the one earlier on Hamilton

TampaGator

August 18th, 2011
11:29 pm

“national champs this yr and next and the next”

DustDawg…..

Why stop there……?

Heck, the Dawgs will win the National Championship every year for the rest of eternity….and Vandy will beat the Gators every year for the rest of eternity……Dream on…..Deam on.

dooley

August 18th, 2011
11:31 pm

daisy, i’m surprised a hick like you can even read….go dawgs

Mobile Dawg

August 18th, 2011
11:50 pm

It’s late sly, it’s never a good idea to get into a discussion which you know before it starts will go nowhere. Have a good night all.

Fair and Balanced

August 18th, 2011
11:58 pm

Ga will do good to go 7 – 5.

Indian Dawg

August 19th, 2011
12:03 am

Daisy, at least our players can count, unlike a certain GT quarterback. So much for that insect education!

RED DOG 77

August 19th, 2011
12:52 am

Shawn Williams has finally come into his own! The kid has confidence, believes “his” team is good, put on muscle……….he’s a beast!……….I agree 100% with previous posts, this DOG defense will turn some heads this year…………As an old fart who has been watching college football for a long, long time………if you have a great D and spank your enemy enough during the game…….you will spank the very life out of that teams motivation………If Aaron Murray and co. can average 20 points per game………The University of Georgia BULLDOGS will stack-up an impressive number of wins this year…………GO DOGS!!!!…………..GATA

aladawg

August 19th, 2011
12:56 am

Daisy, it seems like you are sexualy frustrated if you will just go out and get you some you will be in a better frame of mind.

RED DOG 77

August 19th, 2011
1:07 am

@bamadawg………….Please my brother, don’t be nervous!………Sounds like you’re a big time DAWG fan…………ok, so am I. Just remember one thing :……..no amount of worry will help our BULLDOGS. I urge you to just relax and enjoy the ride. Unlike many on this site, I have no crystal ball………but I will promise you bamadawg, you won’t even recognize this years team compared to last years!………..The Defense will be particularly strong, will make alot of plays, and many stars will emerge…………but don’t think for one minute Aaron Murray and our offense won’t want some of the GLORY…………..Yup,………….Glory Glory to ‘Ol GEORGIA………..dem DAWGS gonna make us both proud in 2011 bamadawg………..keep the faith!……….Regards, RED

T2go

August 19th, 2011
1:49 am

I read where the Boise fans think their O and D lines will dominate us as well…….I see a lot of confidence here in our lines (depth being the only issue). Will definitely be interested to see what happens. I really hope our backs can do the job. I dont think there is going to be much time to get to Moore, and those guys are gonna have to come up big. Hopefully with some devastating hits right outta the box.

Really need the offense to show up in these first two games. We are gonna need 27 at the least in each game. Hope the running backs are in good condition. I cant wait…I have no idea what to expect. I would be pleasantly surprised if we won the first two. I would not be shocked if we lost hem both. I just hope that these guys play with purpose and with heart. I feel that has been lacking in the past. Love the Dawgs…want to see them return to their old form…hopefully in 2 weeks!