Sam Hartman is coming into the 2022 season with a ton of expectations, after a career year leading Wake Forest to an 11-win season, just the second time in school history. The Demon Deacons did so by lighting up scoreboards where Hartman was the maestro of the symphony known as the Wake Forest offense. In dazzling fashion, Sam Hartman threw for nearly 4300 yards and added 39 touchdowns, and another 11 touchdowns on the ground as well. Wake Forest was in the ACC championship and expected to be in the thick of it again in 2022.
The Wake Forest QB seemed destined this year for a trip to New York City, and some projected the 6-foot-1 inch signal caller to be a first-round draft pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Instead, however, it has been announced that Sam Hartman will miss an indefinite amount of time due to an undisclosed medical issue. Hartman has been a warrior who has fought adversity before. Sam is as resilient of a young man as you will find anywhere, he will vanquish this foe yet again, just you wait and see.
Losing his brother
Life is paved with hardship and difficult times, one could argue it's these times that shape us into better people. and force us to change our perspectives about life, and see things from another lens. Things can combust so quickly, and seemingly out of nowhere we fail at times to see what's written the wall. Demetri Allison was extremely close with the Hartmans so much so that he moved in with them while he was in school, and became a member of their family. He was a brother to Hartman and a son to his parents. He and Sam were inseparable. Demetri became a WR on Elon's football team, and one day he took his own life plunging out of a dorm window. This moment struck his family with grief, and not understanding the signs missed. Through that hurt, Sam transformed his grief into a legendary performance for his high school team and dedicated his football career to his brother.
Emergency Surgery on abscess in his esophagus
In 2016, before the beginning of his high school season, Hartman had to get emergency surgery because a large abscess had infiltrated his neck. The thought was he might miss several weeks or even the entire season, but Hartman refused for that to be his fate. After getting the surgery to remove the abscess and enduring a 24-pound weight loss that dropped his weight to under 150 pounds he played the very first week of the season and threw for almost 500 yards. The entire process was only three weeks, what happened was Sam had a small tear in his thyroid gland. This leaked fluid into his shoulder, which eventually spread all the way to his neck. Sam played that Friday night with a visible scar just under his throat, where the abscess was removed.
Overcoming injuries in college
Hartman earned the starting job as a freshman in 2018. He had been underrated coming out of high school and him making the move so early was not a surprise for many. Hartman was playing at a high level as a freshman when he suffered a leg injury. The injury would keep him out the remainder of the season, he then returned as the team's starter in 2019 to only play four games due to another setback. Many other QBs may have considered packing their bags and getting the heck out of there after the misfortune, he had put enough tape out there to be an attractive grab for a more traditional winning team coming out of the portal. However, Sam stuck it out, played solid in the condensed Covid-19 plagued 2020 season, then hit big in 2021. His patience and ability to face adversity had paid off.
Making inner peace with himself
Men in society are often tasked with carrying heavy burdens and doing so without complaint. It is part of the male existence that has always and will always exist, and there is a stigma that you aren't masculine enough if you seek help. Mental health is a very real thing, and it needs to be taken seriously. Hartman, witnessing what happened to his own brother and speaking with former Wake Forest QB John Wolford realized he should look into getting therapy. His doing so has helped him handle a lot of the issues, and burdens placed on his shoulders. He has learned several coping mechanisms to help himself, and this is apparent even on the football field. His seeking help only showed how much inner strength he truly has, and his bravery to move forward. Men are often not wired to want to seek this type of assistance, it goes against our very genetics and culture to believe we need it. It takes an ounce of humbling to even consider it, and I for one applaud Sam Harman for doing so. Soon we will see Sam back to making these types of playing in live action, you can bank on it!