Wake Forest’s Hartman to Receive ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award


GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Wake Forest redshirt junior quarterback Sam Hartman has been named the recipient of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 2022 Brian Piccolo Award, the league announced on Monday.

The Piccolo Award has been given annually since 1970 in memory of the late Brian Piccolo to the “most courageous” football player in the ACC. As a standout running back at Wake Forest, Piccolo was the ACC Athlete of the Year in 1965 and played for the Chicago Bears before his career was cut short when he was diagnosed with cancer. His courageous fight against the disease was an inspiration to the Bears and the entire football community.

Hartman had serious doubts in early August that he would ever play football again, let alone be allowed to take the field for the 2022 season. Diagnosed with Paget-Schroetter syndrome (effort thrombosis) – a rare blood clot in the subclavian vein – the Charlotte, North Carolina native was immediately restricted from football-related activities. He underwent a procedure to remove the blood clot and subsequent surgery to eliminate the pressure on the affected vein.

With a rehab effort led by Dr. Julie A. Freischlag, a renowned vascular surgeon and one of the world’s leading experts in Paget-Schroetter syndrome, Hartman defied all odds by returning to the practice field in less than a month. Freischlag, the CEO/Chief Academic Officer of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, teamed with Dr. Matthew Goldman, Niles Fleet and the entire Wake medical sports and performance staff to enhance Hartman’s remarkable recovery.

After sitting out just one game, Hartman delivered the season so many anticipated, ranking second in the ACC with 3,421 passing yards in 11 games while tying for the lead in touchdown passes with 35. He ended the regular season with 107 touchdown passes for his career, tying former Clemson standout Tajh Boyd for the all-time ACC record.

“As a three-time captain and someone who is one of the finest leaders I have had the pleasure to coach, Sam Hartman is the heartbeat of our football team and is well deserving of this honor,” Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson said. “His dedication, work ethic and drive have allowed him to become one of the best quarterbacks in the country and he has persevered through so much off the field in his life.

“On behalf of our football program, I would like to thank the Atlantic Coast Conference for recognizing Sam as the 2022 Brian Piccolo Award recipient.”

Please see here for an ESPN feature segment on Hartman’s diagnosis and inspiring recovery that aired November 19 on ACC Network.

Hartman becomes the sixth student-athlete from Wake Forest to earn the ACC’s Brian Piccolo Award and the first since wide receiver/kick returner Greg Dortch in 2018.

ACC Brian Piccolo Award Winners

1970     Paul Miller, QB, North Carolina

1971      Jim Webster, LB, North Carolina

1972      Mark Johnson, QB, Duke

1973      Al Neville, QB, Maryland

1974      David Visaggio, DG, Maryland

1975      Scott Gardner, QB, Virginia

1976      Jeff Green, DE, Duke

1977      Ralph Stringer, DB, NC State

1978      Rex Varn, DB, Clemson

1979     Al Richardson, LB, Georgia Tech

1980      Jack Cain, DB, Clemson

1981      Aaron Stewart, DB, Duke

1982      Kenny Duckett, WR, Wake Forest

1983      John Piedmonte, OLB, Wake Forest

1984      J.D. Maarleveld, T, Maryland

1985      Danny Burmeister, DB, N. Carolina

1986      Ray Williams, WR, Clemson

1987      no recipient

1988      Jerry Mays, TB, Georgia Tech

1989      Michael Anderson, RB, Maryland

1990      Marc Mays, WR, Duke

1991      Scott Adell, T, NC State

1992      Dan Footman, DE, Florida State

Randy Cuthbert, TB, Duke

1993      Scott Youmans, DL, Duke

1994      Chris Harrison, T, Virginia

1995      Warren Forney, DT, Clemson

1996      John Lewis, RB, Wake Forest

1997      Sam Cowart, LB, Florida State

1998      Anthony Poindexter, DB, Virginia

Corey Simon, DT, Florida State

1999      Chris Weinke, QB, Florida State

2000      Ed Wilder, FB, Georgia Tech

2001      Matt Crawford, T, Maryland

2002      Anquan Boldin, WR, Florida State

2003      Kevin Bailey, OL, Virginia

2004      Frank Gore, RB, Miami

2005      Ryan Best, S, Virginia

2006      Glenn Sharpe, Miami

2007      Matt Robinson, DE, Wake Forest

2008      Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

2009      Toney Baker, RB, NC State

2010      Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College

Nate Irving, LB, NC State

2011      Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina

2012      Shayon Green, DE, Miami

Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State

2013      Robert Godhigh, RB, Georgia Tech

2014      Duke Johnson, RB, Miami

2015      Hunter Knighton, OL, Miami

2016      James Conner, RB, Pitt

2017      Trevon Young, DE, Louisville

2018      Greg Dortch, WR/KR, Wake Forest

2019      Richard Yeargin, DE, Boston College

2020      Nolan Cooney, P, Syracuse

2021      McKenzie Milton, QB, Florida State

Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson

2022      Sam Hartman, QB, Wake Forest