Caesars and other sportsbooks had opened Wake Forest at Over/Under 8.5 wins this year off 10 regular-season victories in 2021 and a trip to the ACC Championship Game, but the books have taken the win total down with the news that quarterback Sam Hartman, an ACC Player of the Year candidate, is out indefinitely with a non-football related medical condition. Wake Forest opens the season Sept. 1 vs. Virginia Military Institute and there's no odds for the game yet because VMI is an FCS school. Hartman remains +5000 to win the Heisman Trophy.
The school announced the news Wednesday morning, after a medical evaluation of Hartman on Tuesday at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. After workouts Tuesday, Hartman sought medical attention for a condition unrelated to football. Details were withheld due to privacy restrictions.
"Tuesday was a frustrating day, but I am extremely grateful for our medical staff," Hartman said in a statement. "I look forward to attacking this rehabilitation process, and I am so appreciative of the support I have received from my family, teammates and coaches."
The Deacons finished 11-3 last year after routing Rutgers in the Gator Bowl, the most wins for Wake Forest since 2006 and tying a school record. Hartman started every game and was named second-team All-ACC. He passed for 4,228 yards, sixth in the ACC and a school record, with 39 touchdowns (No. 2 in ACC) and ran for 11 more scores, the second-most in program history by a Wake Forest quarterback. His 50 total TDs were a school record and second in conference history. The Deacons averaged 41.2 points per game, fifth nationally.
Hartman, a three-year starter, enters this season with 9,266 career passing yards, ranking second in program history, and a school-record 72 TD passes. He ranks in the top five in program history in career completions, attempts, completion percentage and passing efficiency, and is the only Wake QB with three or more four-plus touchdown games in his career. Hartman was on every preseason award watch list and finished second in preseason ACC Player of the Year voting at conference media days behind NC State's Devin Leary.
Redshirt freshman Mitch Griffis, his brother and freshman Brett Griffis, redshirt sophomore Michael Kern and redshirt freshman Troy Hoilman are the other QBs on the roster. Kern probably has the edge to be the Week 1 starter if Hartman can't play. Kern played in two games in 2019, six in 2020 and three last season when he was 2-for-5 for 67 yards.
The Deacons bring back one of the ACC's top receivers in AT Perry, who caught 71 balls for 1,293 yards and 15 scores last year. Another good receiver, Donovan Greene, returns after missing the 2021 season injured. He had 29 catches for 582 yards and two scores in 2020.
Wake Forest is currently +1800 to win the ACC title, but that obviously is fluid – odds to repeat as Atlantic Division winner also are off the board.
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