Justin Hartwig (born November 21, 1978) is a former American football center who played in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at Kansas.
|No. 77, 75, 62|
|Born:||November 21, 1978|
|Height:||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Weight:||315 lb (143 kg)|
|High school:||West Des Moines (IA) Valley|
|NFL Draft:||2002 / Round: 6 / Pick: 187|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Hartwig earned All-Conference and second-team All-State honors as a senior offensive tackle at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. He earned honorable mention All-Conference after leading his high school basketball team in rebounding. In track and field, he won the conference discus title in two consecutive years.
Hartwig played college football for the University of Kansas where he was a three-year starter at right tackle who appeared in 38 games with 34 starts. He was named honorable mention All-Big 12 as a junior and earned second-team All-Big 12 honors as a senior captain. He was a communication studies major.
Hartwig was drafted in the 2002 NFL Draft by the Tennessee Titans. In his rookie season, he played in the final three regular season games, primarily on special teams. He was inactive for the previous 13 games. In 2003, he started every game at center for Titans and helped Steve McNair lead the league in passing while Eddie George recorded his seventh 1,000-yard rushing season. He was a member of offensive line ranked tied for sixth in the league in fewest sacks allowed with 25. The offense ranked fourth overall in the AFC (eighth in NFL). Hartwig won starting center job with four preseason starts after never playing center prior to training camp. He started 47 games in 3 years.
Hartwig signed a free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers in 2006, starting one game before being placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. Hartwig entered the 2007 season as the starting center for the Panthers. However, he was released after the season to make room for second-year player Ryan Kalil.
On March 18, 2008, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Hartwig to a two-year contract, worth approximately US$4 million. Hartwig earned the starting spot at center for the 2008 season. He was also in the starting lineup for the Steelers victorious Super Bowl XLIII appearance against the Arizona Cardinals. During Super Bowl XLIII, Hartwig committed a near-disastrous holding penalty in the end zone, which resulted in a safety and negated a first down pass which could have sealed the game up. The Cardinals then scored to go up by 3 points, but on the ensuing drive the Steelers managed to get a touchdown and win the game by a final score of 27-23.
- "Player Spotlight: Justin Hartwig, Tennessee Titans", NFLHS.com. Accessed August 15, 2008. "Following an all-conference and second-team all-state career at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, Hartwig was a three-year starter at right tackle for the Kansas Jayhawks."
- Bouchette, Ed (2008-03-18). "Steelers reach agreement with center". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-08-26.
- Fittipaldo, Ray (2008-08-25). "Steelers name Hartwig starting center, make first cuts". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
- "Pittsburgh Steelers cut center Justin Hartwig". ESPN.com.