Posted by Jerry Hinnen
For Georgia fans, a secondary that was shaky at times last season, saw corner Vance Cuff graduate, and safety Alec Ogletree move to linebacker entered 2011 as one of the Bulldogs' biggest concerns. And it's safe to say today's news won't help alleviate them.
According to Dawgs247.com reporter Gentry Estes, senior safety Jakar Hamilton has been diagnosed with a pair of stress fractures in his right ankle and will likely miss the entire 2011 season. The injuries occurred sometime during the offseason but were only discovered by a recent MRI.
A JUCO transfer who enrolled last year, Hamilton still has a redshirt year remaining and will likely take it if forced to by the ankle injury. After starting five games in 2010 and collecting 27 tackles with one interception, Hamilton was battling Shawne Williams and Sanders Commings for a starting job and was expected to play a major role in the Dawg secondary regardless.
Thanks to Williams and Commings -- and clearcut strong safety starter Bacarri Rambo -- Hamilton's injury isn't a backbreaker for the Bulldogs, on paper at least. But his departure limits the unit's versatility (particularly where the mix-and-match Commings is concerned) and certainly weakens its depth.
Assuming Hamilton returns at full strength in 2012, his continued presence will be one more bonus for what projects as one of the SEC's deepest and most experienced defensive backfields. (Barring early NFL departures, corner Brandon Boykin should be the only loss.) But that doesn't mean a whole lot for Georgia now as Mark Richt heads into a make-or-break season.