Weeks before, the Bishop Chatard (Ind.) running back had submitted his highlight film to Purdue, hoping the school he grew up rooting for would give him a look. The incoming call was from Purdue assistant Marcus Freeman, informing Hartley he would become a preferred walk-on with the Boilermakers.
Hartley first sent his film to Purdue in February, then was accepted into the university weeks later. During that time, the coaching staff worked to evaluate his abilities.
"They're excited to have me," said Hartley. "They like what they saw on film."
As a high school sophomore, Hartley first visited Purdue when he took in a football game with friends. He was a fan of the Boilermakers, but never considered the school as an option—especially for football.
The experience at Ross-Ade Stadium changed his perspective on Purdue, but he never thought playing football there would be possible. The phone call from Freeman changed that.
"I was really excited, just because I always wanted to go to school there," said Hartley. "But I didn't know playing football would be an opportunity."
Hartley, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound running back, also had opportunities to play at a few NAIA schools, but the offer from Purdue was too good to pass up.
In May, Hartley will visit Purdue for the first time since becoming a part of the program. He's eager to speak with new head coach Darrell Hazell, whom he has great respect for. Hartley is eager to join Hazell's program which is headed in a new direction.
"That's what's so cool about it, is being a part of changing Purdue," Hartley said. "I've heard enough great things about it. Being a part of that change, it will be really cool."
Hartley helped Bishop Chatard to three consecutive state championships during his high school career.