ATHENS – Georgia safety Jakar Hamilton is leaving the football program.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior from Johnston, S.C., confirmed that news to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
Hamilton, a former junior college transfer, was sitting out via medical redshirt this season due to a stress fracture in his ankle that developed in preseason camp. Unable to compete while other players have been asserting themselves at his position, Hamilton said he simply read the writing on the wall.
“It’s just personal issues, really,” said Hamilton, who started five games at free safety last season and played in all 13. “I was hurt and wasn’t going to be able to play this season and I just played it all out in my mind. [Bacarri] Rambo is having a good season, Shawn Williams is having a good season and they both have another year. And other guys are coming in.
“I just felt like I needed a new start and start fresh with another team.”
Hamilton said he plans to transfer but at this point does not know where he might end up.
“I’ve got a couple of schools in mind, but I’ve got to talk to my parents and see where I might best fit in. I’m pretty close to graduating so I’m trying to get my degree first and foremost.”
Hamilton said he met with head coach Mark Richt and they mutually agreed this was the best move for him. He was leaving UGA immediately and heading home.
Hamilton insisted that the decision was not prompted by any disciplinary issues.
“No disciplinary problems,” he said. “There have been some occasions that I might have had some attitude issues or whatever. But this really is just a case of me needing a fresh start.”
Hamilton, who starred at Strom Thurmond High School, transferred to Georgia after spending two seasons at Georgia Military College in Milledgille. A junior college All-American, he transferred to Georgia in 2010 and recorded 27 tackles and an interception last season.