Westmoreland County football Q&A: Belle Vernon’s Jared Hartman

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019 | 5:51 PM


Whether his Belle Vernon teammates need a pass delivered to them on point or a quick haircut for game day — fades come in different forms — Jared Hartman is their man.

The senior quarterback has been as much a big-play passer as he has a game-managing leader for the Leopards (6-1), who are ranked No. 3 in WPIAL Class 4A.

And to think he spent much of the last year on the sidelines.

Hartman is a walking, talking, touchdown pass-throwing example of resilience.

He tore his ACL, MCL and other ligaments in his right knee almost one year ago against West Mifflin — a team the Leopards shredded last week 40-7. Hartman furnished his full-circle comeback in style by breaking the school single-season record for touchdown passes with his 17th.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder is 10 scoring passes away from the program’s career record.

“He is the type of player you trust as a coach,” Belle Vernon coach Matt Humbert said. “He gets the nuances of what we do and understands the game. He takes criticism well. He knows if he screws up, he isn’t going to get chewed out.”

Hartman, who always is quick to trumpet praise toward his linemen — he often conducts post-game interviews with numerous linemen gathered around him — has thrown for 1,016 yards on 70-of-103 passing.

With his frame, Hartman can run with the ball but hasn’t had to do so much because of the Leopards’ depth at the skill positions. It’s like an extension of Humbert’s favorite tagline: “Do Your Job.”

“We literally have five guys we can get the ball to, and they can make plays,” Hartman said.

Said Humbert: “He is so reliable. It’s a luxury to have him back there.”

Belle Vernon, which clinched a home playoff game with its latest victory, travels to Plum for a nonconference game Friday.

Hartman is the subject of this week’s Westmoreland Q&A.

How tough was the journey back after your injury?

I came back in July after about 712 months. I couldn’t wait to compete again.

You came back quickly when you were cleared and played summer basketball?

Yes. I was cleared on a Wednesday and played on a Thursday. I didn’t waste any time. I may have rushed back a little bit.

Would you say you are you are a better player now than before?

I am in better condition than I was. All that physical therapy helped me. It’s more motivation.

Why is this team so strong across the board?

It starts up front. We have a solid O-line, great chemistry and a ton of skill guys.

You seem to have a great bond with your linemen?

Yes. They have been blocking for me since middle school.

Do you reward them?

I buy them Dunkin Donuts every Sunday for our film session and lift. I always take care of my guys.

What do you think of “Duck” Hodges?

He’s been impressive. They didn’t let him throw it deep, but he did a nice job. He threw a lot of check-downs to (James) Conner.

Who is your favorite pro football player?

I always liked Andrew Luck and try to play like him. I didn’t like it when he (retired). I like Baker Mayfield’s competitiveness, too.

What is the best advice you ever received?

Don’t take anything for granted.

What is a hidden talent you have?

I cut hair. My dad works with someone who has a barber shop, and I hang out there and watch how it works. I have three brothers, and I have cut their hair.

Any regrettable moments with the clippers or scissors, or any trims that went awry and needed covered with a hat?

No, none like that. I’ve kept it under control.

Who is the celebrity you would most like to meet?

The guy from the Rocky and Rambo movies: Sylvester Stallone.

Who is your favorite band or musical artist?

I’d say Prince. My dad and I always used to listen to him.

Favorite Prince song?

“Little Red Corvette.”

What is your favorite place to eat?

Olive Garden.

Who is the team clown, bookworm and tough guy?

Zade Zadrozny. Nolan Labuda. Hayden Baron.

The gold turf at James Weir Stadium is unique. What color would you make it if you could change it?

Black. With gold or green lines.

How badly do you want another shot to play Thomas Jefferson?

We want another shot, obviously, but we don’t want to worry about TJ right now. We’re thinking about Plum.

Kicker Cam Guess missed a 66-yard field goal last week. Have you seen him make one that far in practice?

Not that far. But he’s been good from 58 or 59 (yards). We were in coach’s ear to let him try (a long field goal) if we were up big.

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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