Sam Hartman, the star quarterback for Wake Forest, has been given the all-clear to compete less than a month after sitting out indefinitely due to a non-football-related medical ailment, according to a university announcement. Hartman, who I considered a dark horse Heisman trophy candidate heading into the season is projected to make his first start of 2022 for the Demon Deacons this Saturday against Vanderbilt.
Back in August, Hartman had sought medical attention for a condition unrelated to football, causing Wake Forest to release a statement shortly after declaring that the star QB would be out for "an extended length of time". After medical professionals examined the quarterback, they advised that he should remain absent from all team activities for the foreseeable future but provided no more details at the time.
On Tuesday, almost a month following Hartman’s original evaluation, a statement from surgeon Julie A. Freischlag stated that Hartman had developed Paget-Schroetter syndrome, which led to a blood clot in the subclavian vein. He had surgery to remove the blood clot, followed by another procedure to release the strain on the vein. Hartman underwent a follow-up ultrasound last Friday, and it was determined that he would be allowed to compete fully this weekend against Vanderbilt.
Hartman stated “This process has made me appreciate all the individuals at Wake Forest University and surrounding our football department for how they care for us as student-athletes. Drs. Julie Freischlag and Matthew Goldman, as well as the rest of our medical staff, collaborated with me throughout this process, and I am very grateful for their assistance, Hartman said in a statement on Tuesday. “There will be time for me to tell my complete story, but right now I am just really excited to get back on the field with my teammates and compete each day to help our team get ready for Vanderbilt this Saturday in Nashville. Let’s get it, Deacs!”
Hartman, a three-year starter at quarterback, is coming off an outstanding 2021 season in which he led the Demon Deacons to the ACC Atlantic Division title and a victory over Rutgers in the Gator Bowl. Over the course of the 2022 season, Hartman passed for 4,228 yards and 50 touchdowns, placing him among the top players in the nation in both stat categories.
Wake Forest currently sits 1-0 after a 44-10 victory over VMI in the 2022 season opener, in which redshirt freshman Mitch Griffis started at QB in Hartman’s absence. Vanderbilt enters Saturday’s contest at 2-0 after defeating Hawaii and Elon to open the season. Whether Hartman does in fact start remains to be seen but the fact that he has been medically cleared is great news for Wake Forest and for college football.