Former Hartwick College quarterback Jason Boltus did not make it to the National Football League (yet), but he will still be playing professionally this coming season in the Canadian Football League. Boltus has signed with the Hamilton (Ontario) Tiger-Cats, keeping him close to his native Baldwinsville and giving him a chance to prove he can play at a pro level.
Boltus, who set numerous records and won numerous awards during his Hawks career, was the only Division III player invited to the NFL Combine, giving him hopes of becoming the first D-III quarterback to be drafted since 1991. When that didn't happen, he hoped to sign on with a team as a free agent. When that process started to drag on, he says he told his agent to look north of the border for an opportunity, and a private workout last weekend landed him a contract.
Boltus says the NFL is still his ultimate goal, but for now he couldn't be happier to just be playing football for a living--especially since Hamilton is less than four hours from home. He says the Tiger-Cats, who finished a CFL-worst 3-15 last season, are set at the starting quarterback position right now, but that gives him time to adjust to the speed of the pro game and some of the different rules the Canadian version has.
The Tiger-Cats open mini-camp on June 1st and their first exhibition game is June 17. The 18-game regular season begins July 1st at home against Toronto.
Click the multimedia link to hear a phone interview with Boltus about his path to the CFL.