Sam Hartman’s Wake Forest return changes everything in the ACC

Having Sam Hartman return for Wake Forest changes the entire dynamic of the ACC.

Wake Forest football fans received fantastic news Tuesday afternoon as star quarterback Sam Hartman was medically cleared for the game.

Hartman had been ruled out for a month over what he called a “non-soccer injury.” People were speculating for the worst, hoping that one of the best and most important players in the ACC would be fine. He was diagnosed with Paget-Schoetter syndrome, as evidenced by a blood clot resulting from “repeated strenuous activity.” Hartman underwent surgery on August 9 to have it removed.

An ultrasound performed on Friday confirmed there was no additional clotting for the quarterback.

“This process has made me appreciate all the people at Wake Forest University and around our football program for the way they care for us,” Hartman told’s David M. Hale. “I’ll have time to tell my full story but right now I’m really just looking forward to getting back on the field with my teammates.”

Hartman will be able to play in Wake Forest’s week two road game with the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Don’t question for a second how big a Hartman return is for Wake Forest football in the future.

Wake Forest Football: Sam Hartman’s return has a massive impact on ACC

With Clemson having a lost year a season ago and North Carolina State not quite ready, Wake Forest won the 2021 ACC Atlantic. While the Deacs struggled with “The Fake Slide King” Kenny Pickett’s Pittsburgh Panthers in the conference title shot in Charlotte, people were bullish on Wake Forest heading into this season. Then Hartman’s non-soccer injury changed everything.

The Demon Deacons should have been a top 15 team this season. But how do you even rate a team without Hartman? Wake Forest beat VMI in week 1. They enter Week 2 as the nation’s No. 23 team, but a healthy Hartman can and will change everything in the ACC. how much do you say Well, the Deacs can win the ACC and make the playoffs.

Starting well outside the top 10 would make that impossible for most teams, but Wake’s original ranking was artificially suppressed due to Hartman’s non-soccer injury. A look at their 2022 regular season scheduleWake Forest could have more than three wins against ranked teams: Clemson at North Carolina State and North Carolina if the Tar Heels are real.

Should Wake Forest win all three of those games, plus beat Miami, Pittsburgh or North Carolina in a rematch from the Coastal in the ACC Championship, don’t tell me an undefeated Wake Forest can’t make the college football playoffs. Heck, if the Deacs just part ways with Clemson and NC State to end the year 11-1 and win the ACC, it’ll force the select committee’s hand.

Ultimately, Wake Forest brings back their best player at the perfect time. Even if the game is in Nashville, Hartman has a few weeks to catch up before Clemson comes to town. Though the Tigers blew up the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in Atlanta, many teams will do so this year on the death march of Geoff Collins, who leads the Ramblin’ Wreck.

Right now, ACC has gotten a lot more interesting now that Hartman can play at Wake.

For more NCAA football News, analysis, opinion and unique coverage from FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff Rankings, make sure to bookmark these pages. Sam Hartman’s Wake Forest return changes everything in the ACC

John Verrall

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