Standout Western Illinois LB Edgerton Hartwell is finally getting some respect. Hartwell, a transfer from Wisconsin, is one of the best LB prospects for the April 2001 Draft. He's a heavy hitter who plays sideline to sideline without ever giving up on a play. He's a great tackler and has great instincts for the ILB position. He's been creeping up draft boards all year, but I can proudly say that I've had him rated in my top 50 Senior Prospects since early September.
Hartwell finished his three-year WIU career as the school's leading tackler with 512 tackles and is the second Leatherneck to be named the Buchanan winner, joining 1998 teammate and linebacking partner, James Milton. Hartwell was a consensus All-American last season, being named to five All-American teams, and has been the Gateway Conference's Defensive Player of the year in each of the last two seasons (1999 and 2000). Hartwell is a three-time all-Gateway selection, being named to the Second Team in 1998 and the First Team in 1999 and again this season. He was named to the Gateway all-Newcomer Team in 1998, after transferring from Wisconsin.
In three seasons at WIU, Hartwell set records for career tackles (512), tackles in a season (191 this season) and career solo tackles (307). Hartwell has two of WIU's top three single-season solo tackle marks, recording 122 this season and 107 in 1999.
Hartwell recorded double-digit tackle totals in his last 24 games as a Leatherneck. He reached double-digits in 31 of 37 games during his WIU career and recorded 20 or more tackles seven times during that same span. He made 20 or more stops four times this season.
In addition to leading the nation in tackles this season, Hartwell also ranked fifth in the nation with six total fumbles (two forced, four recovered), and tied for the national lead with four fumble recoveries. He led the Gateway with his four fumble recoveries and finished tied for eighth in the conference with 11 tackles-for-loss.