Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  By CORY McCARTNEY  |  Last updated 8/6/13
ATLANTA -- Joe Hamilton sat on top of a folding table in the lobby of Georgia Tech's football facility, wearing a loose Yellow Jackets' long sleeve T-shirt and shorts, a marker dangling from a rope around his neck. On a wall behind him, SportsCenter played on a flatscreen TV and Hamilton discussed the latest troubles to hit Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and the Yankees' Alex Rodriguez as the talking heads offered their takes. Hamilton knows of transgressions -- and he also knows of second chances. Five years after the homecoming of the Yellow Jackets legend was derailed, he's not taking anything for granted this time around. "I'm just giving it my all," he said. "(I'm) very, very grateful." Runner-up to Ron Dayne in the 1999 Heisman Trophy voting, Hamilton set ACC records for total offense (10,640 yards), touchdown passes (65) and total TDs (83) the former quarterback was hired by Paul Johnson as assistant director of player personnel upon his arrival on campus in 2008. But less than two weeks after taking the job, Hamilton tendered his resignation when he was charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, open container and hit and run following an arrest by Georgia Tech police. For nearly two years he worked at quarterback camps and with youth groups before joining up with another Georgia Tech alum, Bill Curry at upstart Georgia State, located just under a mile and a half from the campus where Hamilton made his name. He worked as a recruiting intern in 2010 before being promoted to running backs coach in 2011, a spot he held for two seasons. But Hamilton was without a job after Curry retired. Five years to the day that he resigned, Hamilton would find redemption on the Flats as Johnson brought him back as an assistant to the director of player personnel. His responsibilities include unofficial visits, talking to parents and dealing with the players already on the roster. "When you give you get back," Hamilton said. "When I was here, even when I left, I'm a diehard gold and black Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. No doubt about it. It's just somewhat surreal to be back in a place that you played (at) and that you loved so much and give back in so many different ways." On this day, that also includes coaching the wide receivers. With position coach Al Preston hospitalized with a bacteria-related ailment, NCAA rules permit Georgia Tech moving another staff member into a coaching role on an interim basis. That has Hamilton leading the receivers until Preston can return. With continued improvement he could be back in camp by week's end. "I see myself as a utility guy," Hamilton said. "Somebody says they need somebody to step in and bring the water cooler down to practice, I step in and do that." Having been a quarterback, he believes it gives him an intricate feel of what a pass-catcher needs to do, though the biggest task for him lies in not taking the players too far out of what they typically do under Preston. "This ain't spring ball. You can try and reinvent the wheel and try new drills, but man, we about to play ball," Hamilton said. "So you don't want when coach Preston comes back that I've been telling them something totally different than what he's going to tell them." Hamilton's impact on the team goes well beyond stepping in where needed. It also stretches into the realm of mentoring, something redshirt sophomore QB Vad Lee has taken advantage of. In the midst of a QB competition with redshirt freeman Justin Thomas, Lee has spent time in Hamilton's office, getting advice from the former consensus All-American. "That's big time," Lee said. "Joe Hamilton knows what he's talking about. ... I stay in the back of his back pocket, trying to pick his brain and understand things. He's a positive influence on everybody and just a positive voice to be out there."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Draymond Green: 76ers are going to be ‘really, really, really good’

Bill Polian wouldn't put Terrell Owens or Randy Moss in Hall Of Fame

Report: Free agent wide receivers want to play with Carson Wentz

NFL has plans to put microchips in footballs in 2017

A San Diego storm has turned Petco Park into a lake

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Top eight storylines for NFL Scouting Combine

Mike D’Antoni calls out Rockets for being ‘soft’ again

WATCH: Dwight Howard ejected for hanging on rim

Capitals acquire Blues’ Kevin Shattenkirk in bold trade

Report: Chiefs making ‘strong push’ to make Eric Berry highest-paid safety in NFL

Dana White hints at Conor McGregor's next opponent

Box Score 2/28: Fat Tuesday means athletes on floats.

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in Major League Baseball

The best sports movies available to stream right now

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

It's time for Satchel Paige Day in MLB

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker