Why Sam Hartman isn’t playing for Notre Dame in Sun Bowl: Steve Angeli takes over as QB1 vs. Oregon State

Veteran quarterback Sam Hartman joined the opt-outs during bowl season in December, among some of the interesting 2024 NFL Draft prospects who will not carry on their college careers into the postseason.

From some of the success and numbers he posted in the “Clawfense” with Wake Forest to a singular year at Notre Dame, Hartman will be one to remember for his style of play.

Here’s a look into why he won’t be playing in the Sun Bowl.

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Why Sam Hartman isn’t playing for Notre Dame in Sun Bowl

Hartman elected to opt out of the Sun Bowl earlier in December when he posted an Instagram video that implied he would not be playing for the Fighting Irish against No. 19 Oregon State.

That was later confirmed by a Notre Dame spokesperson.

Considered one of the biggest transfer portal hits of the latest cycle, Hartman finished out his first and only year at Notre Dame with a 63.5% completion rate, throwing for 2,689 yards, 24 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.

He finishes out his six-year college career with a 59.8% completion rate, throwing for 15,656 yards, 134 touchdowns and 49 interceptions.

Playing in the bowl game could have had some positive effects for Hartman, but only really where the stat sheet is concerned. An appearance against the Beavers could have gotten him to No. 4 all-time in career yardage, as he sits a mere 137 yards behind former Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell. He also could have moved to No. 3 in touchdown passes, currently tied there with Harrell as well.

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Who is Notre Dame’s starting QB for the Sun Bowl?

Without Hartman taking the field, Notre Dame will now look to Steve Angeli to take the field at quarterback. This will be the sophomore’s first opportunity to show what he can do — and in reality, that’s probably solidifying his status as the 2024 backup to Duke transfer Riley Leonard or making an impression for a team that could pursue him in the transfer portal.

Angeli took snaps in seven games in 2023, completing 19 of 25 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns with one interception — though all of this took place mostly in garbage time.

In addition to Angeli, there is also the expectation that freshman signal-caller Kenny Minchey could see action.

Minchey played in two games, connecting on two passing attempts for 12 yards.

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