Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman won’t get a chance to add to his Atlantic Coast Conference record for career touchdown passes in his final season.
But the former Wake Forest star’s new stop will allow him to face plenty of familiar foes.
Hartman opted to use his final season of college eligibility at Notre Dame after five productive seasons at Wake Forest, where he threw an ACC-record 110 touchdown passes. His 12,967 career passing yards for the Demon Deacons rank second in ACC history.
He hopes that showing he can succeed with two programs will catch the eye of NFL teams when he enters the draft next year.
“This is what you have to do when you go into the league is come into a new place where there’s not a lot of familiar faces,” Hartman said after making the move.
Notre Dame’s schedule includes a meeting with Hartman’s former team, as the 13th-ranked Irish host Wake Forest on Nov. 18. Hartman’s other matchups with ACC teams are home dates with Pittsburgh on Oct. 28 and Clemson on Nov. 4 plus trips to North Carolina State on Sept. 9, Duke on Sept. 30 and Louisville on Oct. 7.
Hartman gained attention by leading Wake Forest to the ACC championship game in 2021 and by throwing six touchdown passes in a memorable 51-45 double-overtime loss to Clemson last year. But he understands he’ll be under much more scrutiny now because of Notre Dame’s national profile.
“It’s different,” Hartman said. “It’s special here. There’s a lot of eyes (on you), which is pretty obvious at this point. You never really know until you’re out of it what it means to be in this position. Just as much as I can, I’m trying to soak it in. It’s a high-pressure, pivotal season for myself and more than myself — this team and this university.”
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Here are six other transfers to watch, with their former schools in parentheses.
Cypress is perhaps the most notable of No. 8 Florida State’s 15 transfer additions. He led the ACC with 14 pass breakups last season and was named second-team all-conference by The Associated Press. Cypress played nine games last year, and his 1.6 pass breakups per game led all Football Bowl Subdivision players.
Hunter was the nation’s consensus No. 1 recruit in his class back in December 2021 when he made headlines by backing out of a verbal commitment to Florida State and choosing to play for Deion Sanders at Jackson State. He followed Sanders from Jackson State to Colorado. Hunter played both wide receiver and cornerback at Jackson State last year and was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award given to the top Football Championship Subdivision freshman.
Leary played just six games last year before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury, but he has 6,807 career passing yards and a 17-9 record as a starter. His best season was 2021, when he threw for 3,433 yards with 35 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
McCullough appeared on numerous freshman All-America teams last year after collecting 6½ tackles for a loss and four sacks in his lone season at Indiana. That performance backed up the reputation that accompanied him to Indiana; McCullough was the nation’s No. 75 prospect in his class according to 247Sports’ composite ranking. He now joins his younger brother, defensive back Daeh McCullough, at Oklahoma.
Mitchell missed nine games because of an ankle injury last season but returned in time to catch a touchdown pass in both of Georgia’s College Football Playoff games, helping the Bulldogs win their second straight national title. Mitchell had 29 receptions for 426 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman in 2021. He should team with 2022 AP second-team All-Big 12 selection Xavier Worthy to give Texas a talented receiver tandem.
The Trojans certainly know how much Singer can bother a defense. He caught seven passes for 141 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-37 loss to USC last season. Now he joins the sixth-ranked Trojans after earning AP first-team All-Pac-12 honors for Arizona last season. Singer had 66 catches for 1,105 yards and six touchdowns a year ago.