Hartline was the consummate jock. He was an accomplished sprinter, and Ohio State was so smitten that it offered him a football scholarship before his senior season at GlenOak High had even begun — which was fortunate, since that senior season lasted all of one game.
In the home opener, played at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium, Hartline sustained a gruesome, year-ending compound fracture while fielding a punt.
“I remember literally hearing your leg snap,” Maag reminded Hartline last week in the way only a close friend can.
In an ironic twist, Hartline will return to Fawcett nearly nine years to the day of his catastrophic injury. The Dolphins have been chosen to play the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame Game, held at his old high school stadium on Aug. 4.
“I remind [Dolphins coach Joe] Philbin of that all the time,” Hartline said with a chuckle.
Hartline needed surgery, and a metal rod remained in his leg for months. And yet, he was able to run track in the spring, winning the state title in hurdles. He went on to play four years at Ohio State before getting drafted by the Dolphins.
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