Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman Posts Emotional Video To Announce The End Of His Extraordinary, 6-Year College Career

Sam Hartman Notre Dame
Sam Hartman

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the lax transfer portal rules coinciding with the Wild West-style NIL movement, college football has undergone some serious changes of late. We’ve got a massive conference realignment revolution incoming, too! Against this backdrop, and amid a ton of personal adversity, Sam Hartman achieved great success as a quarterback at Wake Forest and Notre Dame over the span of six seasons.

With the CFP 16th-ranked Fighting Irish preparing for a Sun Bowl matchup against No. 19 Oregon State, Hartman broke the news on Instagram that he’s skipping out on the postseason to prepare for the 2024 NFL Draft in an incredibly well-produced and moving video.

From the time he hit the field as a true freshman at Wake Forest, Hartman established himself as a top-flight passer who could elevate a college football program. He even dealt with a blood clot issue that required surgery last year. That came after an excellent 2021 campaign where Hartman threw for 4,228 yards and 39 touchdowns, and he played even more efficient ball the next season for the Demon Deacons with a big jump in completion percentage (58.9% to 63.1%) with a 38-12 TD/INT ratio.

Guiding Notre Dame to a 9-3 record was no small feat for Hartman. He came into a totally new program after such a long time at Wake, commanded the respect of the locker room, won the job, and other than a real clunker game in a loss at Clemson, had a damn good 2023 season. The Irish are still sort of rebuilding on the fly with Marcus Freeman as the head coaching successor to Brian Kelly. Not an easy act to follow. Just look at what Kelly has done at LSU. He’s already produced a Heisman-winning QB in Jayden Daniels.

Look at Hartman’s prolific production as a collegian.

I think people sleep on how good he is. Super underrated, no?

Not a bad assessment here of what Hartman’s NFL Draft future could look like — and why not playing in the Sun Bowl is, in all likelihood, the right call.

Hartman isn’t the biggest dude ever, listed at 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds. Nevertheless, I imagine he’ll get some looks at least as an early Day 3 draft prospect. It just so happens that this year’s QB class featuring Daniels, Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix and others is among the most loaded of all-time, at least on paper.

As we’ve seen in the past, though, it often matters more which team you’re drafted to than it does how high you go. Look at all the leading MVP contenders: Dak Prescott (fourth round), Brock Purdy (seventh round), Jalen Hurts (second round), Lamar Jackson (final pick of Round 1)…the list goes on.

Not saying Hartman is going to be some MVP contender down the road. Just making a point. You never know. Hartman had suboptimal circumstances to succeed at Wake Forest — not exactly a factory of NFL talent there — and had one of the better quarterbacking years at Notre Dame in recent memory. If you put him with a good NFL team, I feel like he’d be plenty functional as a backup and occasional spot starter. The guy has played a lot of football, and as his farewell video suggests, his intangibles are the stuff that sustainable pro careers are made of.

One of the key quotes from Hartman’s vid is, “I hope you had as much fun as I did.” I would venture to say no one around Notre Dame football had as much fun on Monday as the Fighting Irish’s X/Twitter handler, who got to pull the trigger on this piece of content centered around Hartman’s replacement, Steve Angeli:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock