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August 21, 2010The following question was posed to both Nick Williams and Jakar Hamilton. Of the two safeties, which player delivers the hardest lick on the field?
Not surprising their answers revealed contradictory beliefs.
"I think Nick hits a little harder than I do," Hamilton said. "We both bring it, but I weigh 205 and he weighs 225. It all depends on what type of situation it is. We both hit great, but (Bacarri) Rambo will hit you, too. We've even got corners who will hit you now, D.O. (Derek Owen), (Vance) Cuff, (Brandon) Boykin will hit you. Sanders (Commings) weighs 215 and he could be playing safety. It's all even; it just depends on the situation."
Williams offered a different take.
"Oh no, it's probably him, although we both want to hit you hard. It's hard to judge," Williams said. "He'll hit you hard and I try to hit you hard, too."
Whichever side you chose, from all indications, Georgia could have its most physical group of safeties in a number of years.
Head coach Mark Richt likes what he sees.
"They (safeties) have a chance to be very physical," Richt said. "There's a lot of linebacker mentality in that group as far as hitting, but they've still got to be disciplined to play the back end, you know? But they've got the chance to be very physical right now."
Do the names Thomas Davis and Greg Blue ring a bell?
With Williams they certainly do.
"That's exactly what I want to be. We want to bring that defense back to Georgia. I want to bring that Greg Blue and Thomas Davis back," Williams said. "I'd give anything to get back to that time, have people saying 'We've got two more Greg Blues back there with Nick Williams and Jakar.' We talk about that all the time."
Williams knows it's also important to play smart.
"All safeties want those big hits - legal bone-crushing hits, game-changing licks. That's what ever safety looks for and I'd be lying if I said I didn't," he said. "But you can't let that overpower you because at times you'll be looking for the big hit and miss the simple play or get too caught up in making a big hit and miss an assignment. That's one thing I've had to learn since moving from linebacker to safety, just let the plays come to me."
Hamilton may have the most to live up to.
"It started after my freshman year at GMC," Hamilton explained. "There was a hit on my highlight film when we were playing Troy JV and I hit a running back, almost hit him back in the stands. Everybody called me Hitman since then."
According to secondary coach Scott Lakatos, both players are splitting the reps with the first unit at strong safety.
"We both competing and at the end of the day it's going to be a good rotation, no matter who starts. We're all going to get the same amount of reps," Hamilton said. "We're just both out there competing. We know one of us will get the start, but at the end of the day we're going t get the same amount of reps."
Williams joked the two will sit down and do a "hit count" at season's end.
"Yeah, we'll probably get together one day and say let's have a little 'hit-off,'" Williams said. "I've got so much learning to do. Hitting just comes with the territory but I've got so much learning to do. I like football, and I'm going to hit you hard."