Hartline misses home--but for a good reason

Michael Hartline is glad to be at Kentucky practicing football. However, forgive him for feeling just a tad homesick.

No, the freshman quarterback isn't ready to head home to Canton, Ohio, after spending the summer in Lexington working out with teammates. However, he is sad that he's missed the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony Saturday.

"It is so crazy in Canton this weekend for the Hall of Fame. I am kind of disappointed that I can't be there for it. Growing up in Canton, it's just a different atmosphere. We live and breathe football. It gets pretty heated at times, but it is a good time because we all love football," Hartline said.

He said his parents have friends who normally loan them tickets so they can go to Hall of Fame luncheons and have a chance to meet some of the inductees. "It's so cool. And it is amazing how many people show from all over the country to see their favorite players. It's pretty incredible," he said.

Hartline says, like all players, he has dreamed from time to time about one day seeing himself in the Hall of Fame. "I don't look too far ahead, but what player wouldn't want to do that," Hartline said.

However, the biggest reason he wanted to be home this weekend was because former Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman was inducted. "He is one of my all-time favorite heroes. I really wanted to see him, but that's just the way it goes. I have obligations and business to take care of here," he said.

But he obviously prides himself on having the same toughness Aikman always did. He ran the ball often in high school and was never shy about taking a hit, or delivering a blow. "You can't be shy. If you are, then you get hurt," Hartline said. "The way I look at it, you have to go out there and be tough no matter what size you are. You have to be tough all the way around the football field. Some might look at me as slim and think I am not that tough, but I take that as something where I can show people what I can really do. Being tough is one thing you have to do as a quarterback. It's not something you can learn. It's just an instinct, something that comes naturally."

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