Nov. 6, 2003
Former Georgia Tech all-America quarterback Joe Hamilton has signed a one-year contract with the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League.
Hamilton, 26, spent three years in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers organization. He was the number three quarterback for both the 2000 and 2001 seasons. Hamilton went on to play in NFL-Europe for the Frankfurt Galaxy in 2002, where he would have an outstanding season in leading the Galaxy to a 5-2 first place record. But Hamilton suffered a season-ending knee injury in the eighth week, resulting in the Bucs placing him on the injured reserve list for the entire 2002 NFL season.
The Predators, coached by Jay Gruden–the brother of the Bucs head coach–will open training camp on Jan. 11.
In college, Hamilton was one of the most decorated quarterbacks in NCAA history. He finished second to Ron Dayne in the 1999 Heisman Trophy balloting. A four-year starter, Hamilton finished his career with 10,640 yards of total offense, 83 total touchdowns, 65 passing touchdowns and an impressive 148.2 passer efficiency rating.
Hamilton was the first player in NCAA history to top 10,000 career yards of total offense with at least 1,500 rushing yards.
As a senior, Hamilton was a consensus first team All-America selection, being named to the first unit of the Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation and Football News All-America teams. He won the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and was named ACC Player of the Year.
Hamilton completed 66.6% of his passes, threw a school record 29 touchdown passes and recorded the sixth highest passer efficiency rating in NCAA history (175.0) in his final season with Tech.
He was runner-up for ACC Rookie of the Year as a freshman and was first team All-ACC as a junior. Hamilton led Georgia Tech to three consecutive bowl appearances, marking the first time a Yellow Jackets signal caller had accomplished that feat since the 1970-72 seasons.
“Because of his size (5-10, 190), a lot of people assume that Joe Hamilton is a scrambling quarterback who makes a lot of things happen with his running ability,” Gruden said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. Joe Hamilton is a great passing quarterback. The fact that he can move around a little and make some plays with his legs is a bonus, but he is a pure passer and should be an excellent Arena Football League quarterback.”
Hamilton is a native of Alvin, S.C. He was South Carolina’s Prep Player of the Year at Macedonia High School where he finished his career with 5,425 passing yards and 1,858 rushing yards. He accounted for 99 career touchdowns, including 67 touchdown passes and 32 rushing touchdowns. He was a two-time All-State selection in basketball.