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AFL Q&A: Orlando QB Joe Hamilton

April 20, 2004 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) News Release

A former Heisman Trophy runner-up at Georgia Tech, Orlando rookie QB JOE HAMILTON has kept the Predators in playoff contention with a 5-5 record. Hamilton, who earned a Super Bowl championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, continues the hunt for his first ArenaBowl title. Hamilton and the Predators face the Dallas Desperados (6-4) this Sunday on NBC at noon ET.

Hamilton (5-10, 190, Georgia Tech) currently ranks eighth among AFL passers in pass completion percentage (63.5%, minimum 100 attempts) and has passed for 1,563 yards and 30 touchdowns. He has the tenth-best passer rating at 114.3.

Hamilton, originally drafted by Tampa Bay in the 7th round of the 2000 NFL Draft, spent most of 2000 season as Bucs' emergency quarterback. He was allocated to NFL Europe for 2002 and played for the Frankfurt Galaxy, leading that team to a 5-2 record before suffering a season-ending injury.

One of the most decorated quarterbacks in NCAA history, Hamilton finished second to RON DAYNE in the 1999 Heisman Trophy balloting. A four-year starter at Georgia Tech, he finished his collegiate career with 10,640 yards of total offense, 83 total touchdowns (65 passing) and an impressive 148.2 passer efficiency rating. The first player in NCAA history to top 10,000 career all-purpose yards with at least 1,500 rushing yards, Hamilton received the Davey O'Brien award as the nation's top senior quarterback and was named ACC Player of the Year.

Hamilton led Georgia Tech to three consecutive Bowl game appearances, marking the first time a Yellow Jackets signal caller had accomplished that feat since the 1970-72 seasons.

Q: When did you start playing football? A: I started playing when I was a little kid, backyard stuff with my family and friends. I started when I was about five and its seems like we played every single day until I was about 12. Then I started Pop Warner.

Q: You were a two-time all-state selection in basketball as a point guard in high school; did you ever entertain any ideas of staying in that sport? A: Not really. I gave some thought to playing both in college, but I quickly realized that there was no way I could do that. I realized that classes were hard enough by playing just one Division I sport. I couldn’t see myself playing two and keeping my grades up.

Q: How does the AFL compare/differ from stadium-played football? A: It’s still football - first downs, touchdowns, and six points. The throws are a little different. You have to watch the angles, the height of the throws, and the velocity. But for the most part, it’s the same game.

Q: What are your fitness schedule and eating habits? A: (Laughs) I’m a Big Mac guy. I really don’t pay a lot of attention to what I eat, as long as it doesn’t upset my stomach too much.

Q: What type of music do you like to listen to? A: Rap, R&B. But I have to say that I love JIMMY BUFFET. G-UNIT is what I have on the Walkman right now. (In pregame,) TUPAC always fires me up.

Q: What do you do to relax? A: Video games. I like playing against the machine or my teammates. If I am playing baseball, playing against the machine is okay. But if I’m playing Madden, it’s more fun going against someone else. I just love video games.

Q: If you weren’t playing Arena Football right now, what would you be doing? A: Assuming football (playing) was over, I would be coaching somewhere. That ’s what I want to do when I’m done playing – coach. I also want to have a big family.

Q: Who is the toughest player you’ve faced in the AFL? A: (Orlando DS) KENNY MCENTYRE in practice every day. He knows all the tricks and I have to challenge myself not to let him beat me in practice.

Q: Who has helped your AFL career the most? A: (Orlando head coach) JAY GRUDEN and (Orlando QB) CONNELL MAYNOR. Jay has been in this game so long as both a player and a coach, while Maynor has gone out of his way to help me.

Q: What teams do you see in the ArenaBowl this year? A: First, I see the Orlando Predators in it. If I didn’t believe that, there would be no sense in playing. I think we have the talent and coaching to do it, but we need to keep playing together. I also like Chicago Rush. They are, without question, the best defense I’ve seen so far.

DID YOU KNOW? Hamilton was named South Carolina Prep Player of the Year at Macedonia High in Alvin, S.C. A four-year lettermen and three-time team captain, he passed for 5,425 yards and 67 touchdown in his high school career and rushed for 1,857 yards and 32 additional touchdowns He was a high school teammate of COURTNEY BROWN, who was top overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft (Cleveland).

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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from April 20, 2004

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