Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman is expected to enter the NCAA transfer portal before landing with Notre Dame after a pair of All-ACC campaigns with the Demon Deacons, according to ESPN. Hartman is the holds the ACC career record for touchdown passes thrown.
Hartman has performed at an elite level in Wake Forest's sow mesh offense, throwing for just shy of 13,000 yards and 110 touchdowns after joining the program in the Class of 2018. The Charlotte, North Carolina, native won the starting job as a true freshman and has contributed nearly every year of his career. The rising senior will have just one year of eligibility at Notre Dame, but he immediately enters 2023 as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.
The Fighting Irish struggled with quarterback injuries in Marcus Freeman's first season, and Drew Pyne, who started most of the 2022 season, transferred to Arizona State upon the conclusion of the regular season. While Hartman will only have one year in South Bend, Indiana, it should be a significant opportunity for him to build his NFL Draft case heading into the 2024 draft.
For Wake Forest, the loss of Hartman is a disappointing but not unexpected blow. Hartman played five seasons in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, because of injuries, so going to the NFL Draft was always a possibility. Redshirt freshman Mitch Griffis threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns in his lone start against VMI. With Hartman gone, Griffis is the future at Wake Forest.
Hartman missed the beginning of the 2022 season after being diagnosed with Paget-Schroetter syndrom, or effort thrombosis. The diagnosis involved a blood clot that had to be removed surgically. He returned fully to action against Vanderbilt on Sept. 10.
Hartman has been perhaps the single-most underrated quarterback in college football over the past two seasons. While his arm talent doesn't jump off the page, Hartman's ridiculous ability to process and unmatched patience in the pocket has made him one of the most productive quarterbacks in the nation. In the last two years alone, Hartman has thrown for 7,929 yards and 77 touchdowns while leading Wake Forest to a 19-8 record.
Wake Forest's offense relies heavily on misdirection, but Notre Dame plays a more traditional brand of pro spread under offensive coordinator Tommy Rees. There's a strong belief that playing in a more pro-style offense could help Hartman's NFL Draft stock. Regardless, Hartman's addition would make Notre Dame one of the programs to watch in 2023.
Sophomore Tyler Buchner won the starting quarterback job at Notre Dame out of fall camp but missed most of the season with an injury. Pyne started most of the season but left for Arizona State. Backups Steve Angeli and Ron Powlus have never thrown collegiate passes, and the Irish did not add a quarterback in the Class of 2023. Getting Hartman allows Buchner and the other underclassmen an opportunity to develop and grow in the offense before they are needed for primetime.
But perhaps more importantly, Hartman would provide a stopgap before Notre Dame adds blue-chip quarterback CJ Carr -- the grandson of legendary former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and No. 5 quarterback in the Class of 2024, according to 247Sports. Carr is a potential five-star prospect down the road who is unquestionably the future in South Bend.