I’m not sure the full impact of Sam Hartman’s commitment to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from the transfer portal can be fully measured one week into January, but for certain it’s the biggest roster addition since Manti Te’o... and it’s bigger than that.
Perhaps the most repeated complaint by Irish fans over the years is that Notre Dame can’t get over the hump because they haven’t signed an elite 5-Star quarterback like a Trevor Lawrence — a player that helped lead the Clemson Tigers to a national championship in his freshman year. While there is plenty of truth in that sentiment, that’s not really the norm throughout college football.
There are other routes that a program can take, and in 2023 the routes seem to increase in number.
I have no doubt that if Dante Moore or Arch Manning would have committed to Notre Dame, we would see a large number of fans (and media members) start to push the narrative that the “5-star needs to start,” and all of that jive. What Notre Dame has in Sam Hartman is much, much better — even if it is just for this season.
Hartman is the best quarterback in the transfer portal and has been a high-level player for a mid to lower tier power five program. The amount of production Wake Forest got out of Hartman despite obvious roster limitations is quite incredible. Make no mistake about it... Hartman is QB1 right now for Notre Dame.
I don’t need to spell all of this out for all of you, but Sam Hartman is a better quarterback than Tyler Buchner right now, and will be throughout the season. Anyone claiming that a quarterback competition is coming in South Bend is being disingenuous at best — and delusional at worst. Hartman’s experience and production trumps any other points that some may try to make.
For those that worry about Buchner’s development and 2024... why? Do you think Buchner is developed enough to push the Irish into the CFB Playoff? Why would anyone want to trade wins in one season for the possibility of wins in the next? The goal is to win as many games as possible each and every year — period.
Hartman instantly puts Notre Dame in contention for the college football playoff discussion, and RIGHT NOW, makes the Irish a more attractive landing spot for other players in the transfer portal ND is actively recruiting.
What’s this mean for Notre Dame in 2023? Without trying to sound overly dramatic... everything.