Belle Vernon QB Jared Hartman ahead of schedule in recovery from knee surgery

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Saturday, May 4, 2019 | 5:50 PM


Jared Hartman believes he has more memories to make playing quarterback for Belle Vernon. Warmer, more pleasant memories that involve him making plays on the field — with his arm and legs.

The comeback is well underway.

“This is my senior year,” Hartman said. “I was not going to have my last game be me getting carted off the field at West Mifflin. I just want to have a successful and healthy season and to have a great senior year with my teammates.”

Hartman was injured during the first half of a Class 4A Big Eight Conference matchup at West Mifflin last October. The Leopards won the Week 7 game 28-12 but lost their gritty signal caller for the season.

Hartman tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee.

Belle Vernon fans will remember the thumbs-up he gave as he was wheeled off the turf.

Nearly seven months later, though, he is upright, more mobile and ready for a return.

Those who had written him off might want to tune in.

Hartman began dropping back and throwing again last week and was fitted for his new sidecar: a knee brace that will become part of his uniform and help him heal.

“We have a 7-on-7 coming up, and we’re hoping he’ll be ready,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “Jared is an overachiever who is taking this very serious. He’ll find a way.”

Humbert has been impressed watching Hartman work his way back.

”He has regenerated quicker than anyone I have seen with his type of injury,” the coach said. “However, its not a shock to see. He is a kid that was going to do everything he could to recover in the fastest possible way. He is a very motivated and dedicated individual that has followed the path to recovery with no deviation. That’s just the type of person he is.”

The arduous rehab process has been slightly more bearable for Hartman because his brother, JJ, went through basically the same deal.

JJ Hartman tore his left ACL and both MCLs during a fall basketball game in October 2017.

“He is perfectly fine now and just finished his freshman year of college at Pitt,” Jared said. “He got cleared at five-and-a-half months to play his senior year of baseball. He and my family have been motivating me.”

Jared had surgery last Halloween and is ahead of the nine-month recovery process.

“I just got out of physical therapy,” he said. “I have no restrictions as of right now, and I’m moving along well.

“I feel great and everything is starting to become normal again. The hardest part about rehab was all the restrictions I had. Anyone that knows me knows I can’t sit still, and I had to sit still a lot.”

Hartman passed for 510 yards (47 of 64) and seven touchdowns last season.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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