Mike Hartline may have had the most love/hate relationship with the UK fanbase of any player in recent UK history. He certainly went through some growing pains, especially in his early years, including a benching during his sophomore year. Despite good play last season, many felt it better for the team when Hartline went down with a knee injury. And on this very website, the majority of fans voted for Morgan Newton to be the starting QB coming into this season.
Aside from one unfortunate comment after being benched his sophomore season, Hartline has shown very little frustration, has been constantly complimented by teammates for his hard work, and this season that hard work and perseverance has payed off. And now, Hartline has found himself planted all over the UK record books. ESPN projected out Hartline’s stats for the remaining 2 regular season games. Here is where he would finish in the major quarterback stats, not including a bowl game:
Passing Yards: 5,711
Completion Percentage: 60.8%
(In nearly every one of those stats, Hartline ranks behind Tim Couch, Andre Woodson, and Jared Lorenzen.)
Hartline has also been the starting QB of a bowl win, something only 4 other UK quarterbacks can say. If he wins another one this season, only Woodson and Babe Parelli can say they won multiple bowls.
Hartline has beaten Louisville 3 times as a starter, something no other UK quarterback can say. Only Couch had beaten the Cards twice. Hartline ended the streak against South Carolina and could potentially end the streak against Tennessee. And Hartline did not lose a single non-conference game in his career (11-0), barring a bowl loss.
Now, all of this certainly does not mean we should put his name in the Ring of Honor. Of course not. In the grand scheme of things, has Hartline progressed the program any further than where Andre Woodson left it? Not really. And I think Hartline would be the first to say he is disappointed about that.
But, the main question I ask is this, in 2 parts: WHAT IS YOUR OVERALL OPINION OF MIKE HARTLINE’S CAREER AND HAVE THE FANS TREATED HIM FAIRLY?