Report: Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman Likely to Transfer to Notre Dame?

Notre Dame could be adding one of, if not the, best quarterback on the portal market this off-season according to reports.

There’s been smoke on social media for a week now that Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman would enter the transfer portal and land at Notre Dame. On Tuesday, Hartman officially entered the portal and ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that Notre Dame is his likely destination adding fuel to a social media fire that’s been burning for a week now.

Notre Dame has not been shy about wanting to bring in a transfer quarterback this off-season. Marcus Freeman stated his plans publicly in the wake of the Drew Pyne transfer in December. Freeman was honest with Pyne that Notre Dame would pursue a transfer which prompted Pyne to enter the portal before Notre Dame’e bowl game. Pyne landed at Arizona State, and if Thamel’s report turns out to be true, Notre Dame will have landed a significant upgrade over the player they lost to the portal last month.

Sam Hartman is arguably the best quarterback to enter the portal this cycle. In the Demon Deacons Gasparilla Bowl win over Missouri, Hartman broke the ACC career record for touchdown passes, currently sitting at 110. In 2022 alone, Hartman tossed 38 touchdowns after adding three in Wake Forest’s bowl victory.

Hartman, who has one year of eligibility remaining, completed a career-high 63.1% of his passes for 3,701 yards to go along with those 38 touchdowns. Notre Dame, as a team, threw for 2,399 yards with 22 touchdowns to 8 INTs. Hartman does have 26 combined INTs the past two seasons, but those came on a combined 936 attempts. He also has a combined 77 touchdowns the past two seasons. Notre Dame had 52 over the past two seasons.

While nothing is official in today’s college football until paperwork is completed, this would be a HUGE win for Notre Dame, given the challenges at the quarterback position. Tyler Buchner entered the year as the clear QB1, but after a third major injury cost him the season, his grasp on the position loosened even though he is back for the Gator Bowl and will start on Friday. Pyne was fine as Buchner’s replacement, but his limitations were evident throughout the season, even as his record as a starter was solid.

Notre Dame has had mixed success on the transfer market so far this off-season with a big win with Virginia Tech wide receiver Kaleb Smith and a big swing and miss with Western Michigan DT Braden Fiske, who selected Florida State on Monday. NIL reportedly played a role in Notre Dame losing out on Fiske just as it did in all of Notre Dame’s high-profile losses on the recruiting trail towards the end of the cycle.

Should this one play out differently than the Fiske pursuit, which Notre Dame reportedly led as recently as last week, it would be one of the biggest wins for Freeman on the transfer/recruiting trail. Hartman represents a significant upgrade at the quarterback position for the Irish. He could be of the best Irish quarterbacks in a long time playing behind Notre Dame’s offensive line and with its skill personnel and backfield.

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6 Comments

  1. Based on Gundy’s testy response to being asked about OSU staff changes, sure seems like at least one guy there will be looking for work.
    After the beat-dwon to Kansas State, maybe it’s him.

  2. For those who didn’t watch Wake Forest play this season — I imagine there are a couple of you — here’s the Cole’s Notes:

    By halfway through the season, Hartman was getting real buzz as a ‘dark horse’ Heisman candidate. WF was 6-1, and ranked 10.
    Then, the Louisville game happened.

    After halftime break (during which the entire WF offense likely ingested Ambien), they stumbled through most of Q3, and Hartman got yanked….but not before he had thrown 3 INTs, and had 3 fumbles.
    He also got sacked 7 times….the O-line was Louisville’s bitch.

    So. 6-2. No more Heisman. Team dropped 10 spots in the rankings. Chance at the kind of Bowl game with actual people in the stands pretty much gone.
    (The positive? We found out Hartman sure can take a hit!).

    The next week, still reeling from the previous week, a road loss to season spoilers NC State. Threw 3 INTs.
    Now 6-3, they went from NY6….to Gasparilla Bowl. Those 2 games accounted for more than half of Hartman’s 11 INTs.

    Hartman did end the season with 35 TDs — just 2 fewer than the zero-character dooshbag that won the Heisman.

  3. “How arrogant would you have to be to walk in in three weeks and think you know better about what’s going on within the program, what these guys have done over, whether it’s a five-year period…..or even a year period…..to make that [the starting QB] decision,”
    — Luke Fickell, answering questions about Wisconsion’s bowl game a few days ago.

    —————————–
    Ummmmmh……ow arrogant, you ask?
    Watch ‘Coach Prime’s introduxtory speech to his Colorado team.

  4. This would be huge for the team. A proven ACC record setting QB looking to raise their draft stock in their final college season.

    1. Agree but the fact that he hasnt yet signed with ND has me wondering if he isnt waiting for better offer if there is one out there.

      1. Foskey has a NIL deal with his own line of clothing, so NIL money is being offered at ND, but presumably not a ‘blank check’ for millions even before arriving. There will be more cash offered Hartman elsewhere up front, if that’s how we define a “better deal”. But national exposure as NDs QB under a pro-style O’ scheme that has a better chance to showcase what you can do could also offer him to the next draft as “a better deal” than NFL folk now see. Paraphrasing Freeman on signing day, if he only desires to ‘follow the money’, he’ll be better off elsewhere. I’m hoping this “rumor” about him coming to ND reaps true. ND could do a lot worse.

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