He left Georgia and transferred to South Carolina State, where he faced an uphill battle to get himself academically eligible to play in 2012.
"He had probably the biggest hill to climb of anybody I've seen come into our program," S.C. State defensive coordinator Mike Adams told TheBulldogZone.com in August. "With the amount of hours he had actually to get through between spring and summer, that was a major test and I'll be honest with you. It really showed me how much this season and how important it was to him. Having that kind of obstacle in front of him lets me know exactly what he's capable of off the field and maybe says a lot about his character, hopefully."
Hamilton wasn't even listed on the two-deep roster entering fall practice due to his uncertain status. But he worked to become eligible, and contributed heavily as a return specialist in 2012, returning seven kickoffs for 218 yards. He added 40 tackles and three passes broken up in eight games on defense as well.
A hybrid defensive back with experience at cornerback and free safety, Hamilton earned an invitation to the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.