ATLANTA (Nov. 24) – Heisman Trophy candidate Joe Hamilton, who leads the nation in passing efficiency and ranks third in total offense, has been named a first-team all-America quarterback this week by the Football Writers Association of America, the Football News and College Football News.
The selections make Hamilton, a senior from Alvin, S.C., the 46th first-team all-America in Georgia Tech history. The FWAA team was announced Tuesday, the Football News and College Football News selections Wednesday.
Hamilton also was named one of five finalists for the Football News Offensive Player of the Year along with quarterback Chad Pennington of Marshall and running backs Ron Dayne of Wisconsin, Thomas Jones of Virginia and Shaun Alexander of Alabama.
Tech offensive tackle Jon Carman, a senior from Waldorf, Md., was named to a third-team all-America by the Football News and a second-teamer by College Football News.
Hamilton and Carman have helped Tech lead the nation in total offense and scoring for most of the season. The Jackets currently lead the nation in total offense at 504.2 yards per game and rank second in scoring at 39.7 points per game. The Yellow Jackets also rank 13th nationally in rushing (226.6 yards per game) and 18th in passing (277.6).
Hamilton leads the nation in passing efficiency with a rating of 172.9. The NCAA single-season record is 183.3 set in 1998 by Tulane’s Shaun King. In 10 games this season, Hamilton has complete 66 percent of his passes for 2,719 yards with 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The senior also ranks third nationally in total offense with 335.9 yards per game and is Tech’s second leading rusher with 640 yards and six TD’s.
The Yellow Jackets completed their heavy practice work Wednesday in preparation for Saturday’s 1 p.m. regular-season finale against Georgia. Tech will attempt to win its second straight game over the Bulldogs after scoring a 21-19 win in Athens last season, snapping a seven-game losing streak in the series.
“We practiced well,” said head coach George O’Leary, who is coaching in his 11th Tech-Georgia game. “We really don’t need a lot of noise out here. Determination is the key. As long as people are into practice and know what’s going on, we don’t need a lot of yelling and screaming. “I was looking for assignments and players’ responsibilities. That’s what I was happy with. I thought they were really sharp today. They just need to carry it over tomorrow for polish and into Saturday.”
O’Leary expressed confidence in the preparation of the team after three days of work. “I think the coaches have a good game plan in. We just have to go in and execute it,” he said.
Fourteen seniors will be playing their final home game Saturday against Georgia, including Hamilton and cornerback Travares Tillman (Lyons, Ga.), who were named permanent captains following Monday night’s practice.
“The senior group doesn’t have that many people in it, but there are good players in it,” O’Leary said. “Collectively, they’ve done a good job. Joe and Travares are most appropriate captains.”
The rest of the group, which has won 29 games and played in two bowls, includes Carman, tight end Conrad Andrzekewski, linebacker Donte Booker, guard Jason Burks, defensive back Derrick Dudley, linebacker Chris Edwards, center Noah King, special teams standout Ron Mabra, guard Bill Madigan, wide receiver Titus Nelson and defensive back Reggie Wilcox. Running back Phillip Rogers, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in the Duke game, will also make his final appearance on the field at Bobby Dodd Stadium.
The game is being televised regionally by ABC and aired in Atlanta in WSB-TV, Channel 2.