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July 22, 2021

Sam Hartman

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Sam, please.

Q. With the news of Donavon Greene unfortunately going to be missing the season, working with guys like Jacorey, but also Donald Stewart, Jahmal Banks, A.T. Perry, what has been some of the highlights working with the guys in the spring and some of the growing pains?

SAM HARTMAN: Yeah, no, it's definitely tough for Donnie. He's been working really hard. He's a great teammate, great kid. You feel for him.

But definitely a lot of highlights. You got a lot of young guys that have a lot of opportunities now to step up and make their names known. A.T. has had a great spring. Donald Stewart had another great spring, transfer from Stanford. Then Jahmal Banks is probably a guy you haven't heard of, but he's doing an incredible job. He's a great guy. You love to see guys being able to have opportunities to play at Wake in the ACC.

Q. You're in familiar grounds here in Charlotte. Representing this team with the coach that you have, what can you say about the vision of Dave Clawson, how it's come through for you and why you bought in?

SAM HARTMAN: Like Coach hit on before, it's a culture, it's a legacy that guys left before me, guys that stood on this stage, the Cam Serignes, Grant Dawsons, Cade Carneys, Justin Strnads. I believed in that program just based on meeting those guys, meeting Coach.

It's been an incredible ride. I played early, played at the high level. There's a job that's not finished. I'm looking forward to completing those goals that I set when I was a freshman this year and years to come.

Q. What was kind of the mentality during last season? Obviously a lot of teams faced challenges. For you guys having the three games canceled, how did you display your leadership, keep your guys focused?

SAM HARTMAN: I just kept reminding them of the goals we set at the beginning of the year. It was really easy with Coach Clawson at the helm. He kind of really set the example for us as players, what he did with his family in quarantining away for their safety. It was easy for us to kind of make that decision.

With that, you have an example to tell, Hey, you got your coach up there, staying away from his family to play this season. For us, it was kind of a no-brainer at the end of the day. We have a coach that's leading us like this, why not? Keep fighting for him because he's fighting for us.

Q. Describe your relationship with Coach Warren Ruggiero, how you work on your progression as a quarterback, but help him execute his game plan?

SAM HARTMAN: Coach R, he's the best. He's got quite the schemes. What we run is a little bit unique compared to the rest of the country.

Coach believes in me. He believes in me as a freshman and every year since then. It's been an honor to play for him and run his offense. I just try and do what the system tells me to do, and it works.

That's the best part bit. I've learned from freshman year when you try to kind of make plays, make things happen on your own, it usually doesn't pay out that well. There comes a point where you have to make plays, help him be right. Most of the time it works.

We kind of feed off each other. We work as a unit and have learned from ins-and-outs of the game. I've enjoyed playing for him. Hopefully he's enjoyed coaching me.

Q. For four years John Wolford had to win a quarterback battle, for two years you battled Jamie. Now this is two years where you kind of go into an off-season as the guy. Is it something you asked Michael and Mitch to push you, or do you push yourself from within? A mix of both of those?

SAM HARTMAN: Yeah, definitely different than being in a battle. But we compete every day. Mitch and Kern do a great job. They're great quarterbacks. They push me. I push them.

It's just a competitive atmosphere. I think like this spring, especially the defense, did a really good job. Every day was kind of a battle. I think it's more just our whole team as a unit competes. The D-line is pushing our O-line, the defense is pushing the quarterbacks, receivers are pushing the DBs, running backs are pushing the linebackers. And it's all around. It's a team effort. And the coaches. The coaches challenge us, Coach R, Coach Clawson, they push me every day to grow on and off the field.

Back to the first question about how we grow as a leader, and I've enjoyed that. It's not always easy, but it's definitely going to be worth it.

THE MODERATOR: Sam, thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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