In the fight for his skills, both BYU and Utah State made scholarship offers. Utah State's was more immediate: come here and play now. BYU was seeking for a delay. With no immediate scholarships for next year, the Cougars were hoping that Hartsock would choose to serve an LDS mission first before enrolling. If he did that, he would have a scholarship when he returned.
"They both had great things to offer," Hartsock said. "It could have gone either way. In the end, I prayed about it and had a good feeling about BYU. I decided to go with it and go there. I'm going to go on my mission first out of high school."
He called both coaches to let them know of his decision. Hartsock said that Coach Morrill took the news well. "He's been through the recruiting process before," Hartsock said. "He's been a coach for 20 years, he's lost guys before. He told me that he thought I was going to BYU, but he was keeping his fingers crossed."
Coach Rose was excited for the decision and welcomed it. Hartsock's high school coach was also glad for the decision. With recruiting now out of the way, he can concentrate on helping Bartlesville High School improve upon last year's 25-3 record and three-point loss in the state championship game. Last season, Hartsock averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Hartsock turns 19-years old next summer and will leave for his mission then. If he could choose he would like to go Spanish-speaking, as he studied that all through high school and he said he's "got it down!" But Hartsock's brother did the same thing, and he is now serving in Russia.
Although he is not likely be in a BYU uniform prior to the 2008-2009 season, BYU fans should be more than willing to welcome him to their team. Hartsock is still growing and said that he hopes to add another two or three inches. He has been compared by some to former BYU-great Russell Larsen. To me, he is more like Ken Roberts.
Roberts played from 1990 to 1996. He averaged 19 points and seven rebounds his senior season. He was a low-post player who had great moves. He was quicker than most of his competition and he was also smaller. In fact, he was only 6-foot-6. Roberts used his quickness and strength to get great leverage on players and get around them. Hartsock plays similarly with quickness and strength. The difference is that he is not undersized for the low block.
Total Blue Sports will continue to follow how Hartsock's performs through his senior. Keep checking TotalBlueSports.com for updates. Also, be sure to check out the December issue of Total Blue Sports Magazine for a feature on BYU