July 3, 2010

Position Breakdown: Safety

Bacarri Rambo's time to shine is now.

After backing up Reshad Jones and Bryan Evans as a redshirt freshman, Rambo enters his second year of actual competition as the only "sure thing" at safety for the Bulldogs this fall.

Actually, that's a sure thing in the sense that he's the only player who from all expectations has sewn up a job in starting lineup.

Rambo was listed atop the depth chart at free safety following the conclusion of spring drills, a position he's not likely to relinquish anytime soon.

As for the rest of Georgia's safety core, there is certainly talent, albeit a bit on the unproven side.

During the spring, Jakar Hamilton, Shawn Williams, Quintin Banks and Nick Williams each rotated between free and strong safety where the starter for fall is still somewhat up in the air.

If the season opened today, Bainbridge junior Nick Williams would open as the starter at strong, with Banks his top backup.

Thus far, Banks has been a good story for the Bulldog as the senior appears completely healthy for the first time in two years. Continued good health, combined with four years of on-field experience, could pay big dividends for Georgia this fall.

GMC transfer Jakar Hamilton can play either strong or free. Currently, the Edgeville, S.C. native is backing up Rambo at free, but should also continue to get looks at strong once preseason drills begin.

"They're all a little different," defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos said recently. "Jakar is pretty athletic; they're all physical, Nick's a real physical guy, very rangy. Bacarri's pretty physical and he's the only guy who got any real playing time last year."

Incoming freshman Marc Deas will also get a good look, as will Alec Ogletree, although sources say don't rule out "Tree" getting a taste at outside linebacker, perhaps sooner than later.

Free Safety
18 Bacarri Rambo 6-0 210 Redshirt Sophomore
23 Jakar Hamilton 6-2 196 Junior
9 Alec Ogletree 6-3 222 Freshman

Strong Safety
39 Nick Williams 6-2 219 Junior
31 Quintin Banks 6-2, 213 Senior
36 Shawn Williams 6-1, 192 Sophomore
26 Marc Deas 6-0 185 Freshman

Where will Alec Ogletree wind up playing?

We last spoke with Ogletree during the state track meet and at that time indicated that he had muscled up to 222 pounds. Although that may be a tad large for a safety, the Newnan still expressed his desire to play that position first, although he quickly said he'd tackle whatever position coaches wanted him to go. A tremendous athlete, there's not much doubt that Ogletree will except wherever he plays, although we've been hearing rumblings that coaches are beginning to think outside linebacker might soon become his home.

Of the safeties, who is the hardest hitter?

You can't go against a player with the name of Rambo, can you? We're not. Rambo loves contact, thrives on it and is anxious to lay out some hits on unsuspecting receivers this fall. Nick Williams is no slouch either, and Hamilton's nickname is "The Hitman." We'll soon see.

Will Hamilton be given a shot to play corner?

At 6-2 and 200 pounds, Hamilton has the speed, is physical enough and claims to have the hips that would allow him not only to play press coverage but stay with the SEC's speediest receivers. But will he get that chance? Hamilton said he wants to discuss the possibility with Lakatos, although the coach seemed less than enthused when asked about it during the spring. Don't rule it completely out, but for now, look for Hamilton to see most of his time at safety.

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