Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman throwing during the team's spring game.
Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notre Dame QB Sam Hartman Has the Grossest Necklace in College Football

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman is turning his removed rib into a necklace after having to have it surgically removed.

In an ultimate "football guy" move, Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman wants to have a necklace made with his surgically removed rib, and his mom is willing to clean the flesh off of it if he wants her to.

This comes from a report by David Ubben of The Athletic, who spoke with the newest Fighting Irish quarterback prior to the start of the upcoming college football season. There's a lot to unpack here, so let's start with who Hartman is and how the rib became surgically removed.

Details Surrounding Sam Hartman's Injury

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman prepares for the team's spring game.

Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In August 2022, Hartman was diagnosed with Paget-Schroetter syndrome. This made it so that he needed a blood clot removed from his subclavian vein.

"Sam developed a blood clot in the subclavian vein. This condition is known as Paget-Schroetter syndrome, or effort thrombosis," said Dr. Julie A. Freischlag, also the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist CEO. "We suspect this occurred as a result of a previous infection that eventually caused inflammation. After our diagnosis on August 9, we first did a procedure to remove the blood clot. Secondly, we performed surgery to eliminate the pressure on the vein and then dilated the vein."

"On Friday, we did another follow-up ultrasound on Sam, and everything looked great. The clot was gone, the blood flow was good, and he felt great. Blood thinner therapies were discontinued once they became medically unnecessary, and he is medically cleared to return to full competition."

So, now that we're caught up to speed on why he had it removed, we can understand Hartman wanting to hold onto the rib as a memory of something so severe in your life. Immediately after surgery, he asked if he could keep the rib to make a shark tooth-like necklace.

"I should have known he was going to stick with it," she said, "and I would get brought into this whole thing."

So where exactly is the rib?

When Hartman transferred to Notre Dame to do his rib, but not to Notre Dame, it transferred to his parents' fridge.

Lisa Hartman went to work getting the rib ready, including buying a special bio enzyme laundry detergent to clean the two inches long, one-inch wide rib. Sam told her to be careful because Googling some variations of "how to clean a human rib" might flag something somewhere.

In addition to the detergent, she got a particular peroxide that's stronger than store-bought stuff by 20 to 30 percent. The rib was soaked in both for about 24 hours to prevent rotting.

"It's to get rid of the flesh that was on the rib," Lisa Hartman said. "He means the world to me, so if he wants me to clean the flesh off of his ribs, then that's what I'm gonna do."

Finally, to add some flare to it, she ordered puka shells from Hawaii, but apparently, the final design is still being discussed. In addition to being Sam's mom, Lisa is also a nurse who grew up hunting and fishing, so with that background, what's one little rib?

"I didn't know what I would say to somebody," she said. "I figured people would think I was so weird, but my husband would be like, 'No, some people think it's really cool.' And I thought, 'No, the majority of people will be like, 'You what!?'... But that's what moms do: They want to make their kids happy."

Sam reportedly doesn't want to wear it but rather display it as a memento of sorts.

"It doesn't look anything like it used to. It's nice and white and clean," Lisa Hartman said. "It looks like something that can be hanging on a necklace."
Lisa also said that, besides keeping up with the rib, she's doing something that you could argue is more challenging—potty training a puppy.
"I guess I need to start making that [the rib] a priority," she said. "Now that Sam talked about it again, I don't think that's gonna go away."
Hartman is entering his sixth college football season. He spent five seasons with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, playing 48 games. He became a breakout star for the Demon Deacons in 2021, starting 14 games while throwing for over 4,200 yards and 39 touchdowns. He'll now suit up for his sixth as the starter for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish after transferring to South Bend.
Hartman will play his first game with the Irish on August 26 at 2:30 pm ET at home against Navy.

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