Sam Hartman takes the field for the final time as Wake Forest quarterback when the Demon Deacons face Missouri in the Dec. 23 Gasparilla Bowl at Tampa, Fla.
The record-setting signal-caller has decided to play in the bowl game but made it clear last month that he isn’t returning to Wake.
“No shot,” Hartman said.
Hartman, 23, is weighing whether to enter the NFL draft or transfer to another school for a sixth season. Schools needing a quarterback are preparing possible name, image and likeness deals.
“Whatever decision Sam makes we support him,” Demon Deacons coach Dave Clawson told reporters. “Again, I think right now his intention is to go to the NFL. When the bowl game is over, if there’s some incredible offer for him to go to another school and get life-changing money, how can we fault him for that? So it’s a good problem to have, and he’s going to have many good options.”
Hartman has passed for 3,421 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season.
He enters his final contest for Wake Forest (7-5) with a record easily in reach. Hartman is tied for the ACC career passing touchdowns record at 107 with former Clemson star Tajh Boyd (2010-13).
Hartman also ranks second in ACC history with 12,687 passing yards and is aiming to join former North Carolina State star Philip Rivers (13,484 from 2000-03) as the only quarterbacks in conference history to reach the 13,000-yard mark.
“Sam is a tremendous player who’s played a long time,” Missouri coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “… It’ll be a great challenge. Dave’s football teams are always well coached. They don’t beat themselves, they don’t turn the football over.”
The Tigers (6-6) have won four of their past six games but they will be short-handed on defense as they try to slow Hartman.
Defensive ends Isaiah McGuire (team-best 7.5 sacks) and DJ Coleman (4.5 sacks) and safety Martez Manuel (4.0 sacks) all opted out of the bowl and declared for the NFL draft.
Several other Missouri players entered the transfer portal, including standout receiver Dominic Lovett, who led the Tigers with 56 receptions and 846 yards.
The loss of Lovett could make things challenging for quarterback Brady Cook, who has passed for 2,504 yards, 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Wake Forest, which has dropped four of its last five games, will have star receiver A.T. Perry. He caught 11 scoring passes this season and holds the school career record with 28.
Star linebacker Ryan Smenda has 106 tackles and ranks ninth in Demon Deacons’ history with 344.
This is the first meeting between the schools.
–Field Level Media