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Ken SugiuraKen Sugiura

Hamilton keeping cool before HOF announcement

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Thursday, Georgia Tech legend Joe Hamilton will be in the football recruiting office, spending a regular day as part of the recruiting staff. It could end up being a most atypical day – Hamilton is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame and will learn Thursday if he will be part of the 2014 class.

“Not nervous at all,” Hamilton said Wednesday morning.

It’s not that he is confident he’ll be among the inductees. It’s that he is placing no expectations on it at all.

“The kind of names that are on the (ballot) and how deep it is, it’s just an honor to be on it,” he said. “I can’t worry about that.”

In fact, Hamilton said a co-worker last told him last weekend about how “I can’t wait until Thursday,” and Hamilton didn’t know what event was being referenced. Hamilton would be the 13th Tech player inducted, the 16th person associated with Tech (including coaches John Heisman, Bill Alexander and Bobby Dodd) and the first Yellow Jackets quarterback.

Hamilton was put on the ballot in March along with 74 other players and six coaches from the FBS level and 87 players and 26 coaches from the lower ranks. From that group, 14 players and two coaches will be inducted. Heisman Trophy winners Eric Crouch and Rashaan Salaam and likely Pro Football Hall of Famer Ray Lewis are among those on the ballot.

Hamilton allowed that he has let himself think about what it might be like to be inducted, calling it “icing on the cake, big time.”

At least one indicator would suggest that the 1999 Heisman Trophy runner-up and one-time ACC record holder for total offense has a decent shot. Of the 16 players who won the Davey O’Brien Award (given to the nation’s top quarterback), 12 have been enshrined, and at least one more – Peyton Manning – figures to be inducted eventually. In a brief interview, though, Hamilton stressed multiple times that he doesn’t want to be seen as campaigning for induction or expecting to be named. He said he won’t be disappointed if he’s not inducted.

Said Hamilton, “It’s already a good deal.”

The class will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. The news conference will be broadcast on a live stream on the National Football Foundation’s website.

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