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Joe Says... November 10, 1999

We’ve just got to realize that the Virginia game is over and bounce back to play a tough Clemson team. It’s disappointing with the BCS Bowl series right in our grasp and to let it slip away like we did. We’ve got to realize that we’ve got three more games left and we can still have a decent season for ourselves. We can’t allow our loss against Virginia to cause to lose us any more games. I thought we let an opportunity slip away. We didn’t make the plays when we needed to, so in practice this week we are working hard to get some things corrected. But I realize that we still have three games left and we have some goals that we can achieve. We*ve got to forget about Virginia as soon as possible.

We’ve got a very good Clemson team coming in here this Saturday. [Clemson linebacker] Keith Adams is a very aggressive linebacker. He’s small but he runs well. He takes on blockers very well and he’s got a lot of sacks. He’s going to present a lot of problems. He’s a very active player and a very aggressive player, so I know we’ve got to account for him every time we get to the line of scrimmage.

I look to see what the guys [other Heisman candidates] do, but not because I want to see how I’m doing in this race. Believe it or not, I look at it to say I want them to do well. I want them all to do well, because this is college football. All of these guys bring excitement to college football and I would not want to take that away from the game. Yes, I look at it in that I want those guys to be as exciting as they can be because I’m not in competition with those guys. I was in competition with Thomas Jones to win a ball game but not definitely for the Heisman or anything like that. I’m just in competition with the other team that we’re playing. When I look at those guys I want their numbers to shine and be exciting for college football.

Hamilton’s hometown of Alvin, S.C., will now appear on the South Carolina Highway Map for 2000
It was great news to hear that. Joyous. Now I don’t really have to tell anybody or direct anybody to where Alvin is right now. I can really point to it on the map and say this is where it’s at, and this is how you get there. Before that, I just had to tell everybody that it’s 45 minutes from Charleston, 30 minutes from Moncks Corner, things like that. For that to be on the map it just goes to show that anything’s possible.

The most important influence from my parents is that they instilled hard work. They instilled in me that you work for anything you can get, and in everything you do, try to be the best. Sure, they’re going to be people better than you, but try to be better than them by just working hard. All of it was positive though.

Tommy Lee [proprietor of Kinlaw’s Barbershop in Alvin] is more famous than anyone right now. He’s enjoying every minute of this. I’m proud of him and proud of everyone back in Alvin. I’m glad Tommy Lee is getting the recognition that he is getting because that’s where it all started. The barbershop was where I went every two weeks to get a haircut, but it was also where we went to watch some games on Saturdays when I got a little older. It was a place where everybody just talked football, talked basketball and just got together. Where we played football as youngsters was right beside the barbershop, it was a focal point for me growing up. I feel those guys back there love the way I play and they’re with me when I step on the field. It’s nothing but love from Alvin, and I try to go out on the field and give them all I can give them.

I hope that I am given a shot at the NFL and then I can let my abilities speak for themselves. There’s definitely a question about my size meeting their status quo for the NFL, but all I want is a shot.

Coach [Ralph] Friedgen demands the best out of you. He doesn’t accept mistakes that you shouldn’t make. He expects a lot of you. When you’ve been around for a while, he expects you to make decisions that seniors make. Coach Friedgen cares a lot about what you do off the field. He cares about how you’re doing in the classroom, how you’re doing socially, and he really wants you to get a degree because he understands that football only lasts a short time. I respect him a lot and he respects me a lot.

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