ONEONTA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The NFL Draft has become an annual must-watch event for die-hard football fans, but even the casual local fan has a reason to watch this year: former Hartwick College quarterback and Baldwinsville native Jason Boltus could be taken in the late rounds on Sunday.
Boltus' record-setting career at Hartwick included multiple league, regional and national honors and leading the Hawks to their first-ever NCAA playoff appearance in 2008. The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder parlayed that success into a lot of professional attention and earned himself an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine this past February in Indianapolis. He was the only Division III player invited, and as you might expect, he was something of a mystery to the other players.
"At the Combine, those guys asked me what school I'm from," Boltus recalled while back on the Hartwick campus this week. "I said 'Hartwick,' and no one really knew where that was. I said [it's a] Division III school, and they were all just like, 'Wow, that's quite impressive.'"
Despite his outstanding college career, history says making it in the NFL from his position will not be easy. The last time a Division III quarterback was drafted was in 1991 when the Giants took Larry Wanke with the very last pick, and he never played a snap in the NFL. But Boltus isn't fazed.
"If I get drafted, that's great. Everyone hopes to get drafted. But if I don't, then you get to pick the squad you go to [as a free agent]."
And if the NFL doesn't ultimately work out, Boltus has other options for his working life--both on the field and off.
"The fallback plan [is to] maybe try Canada or Arena for a couple years until I really do have to hang 'em up. Maybe go back to school for a little bit, try to go to grad school or medical school."