Division III quarterback turns heads
By John Kekisap
SYRACUSE, N.Y. ó Five years ago, Jason Boltus dreamed of playing quarterback at a major college.
Coming out of high school, he just didn’t have the numbers.
“Nobody would take that gamble because he didn’t have the statistics,” said Boltus’s dad, Greg, who played tight end at N.C. State in the 1970s.
He does now.
As Boltus nears the end of his senior season at Division III Hartwick College, NFL scouts are plenty interested in the 6-foot-3, 225-pound star. Just about every team has sent somebody to the tiny campus (enrollment 1,480) in Oneonta.
They come to see a player whose highlight tape shows him throwing a ball from the 25-yard line that hits a player’s facemask in the far end zone, then ricochets off the crossbar and back out to the 20. Boltus runs a 4.7-second 40 and benches 415 pounds.”The Ravens are coming tomorrow, the Giants on Friday and the Colts on Saturday,” Hartwick coach Mark Carr said mid-week. “I’m not shocked. I thought he was a legitimate NFL prospect after his junior year.”
In 2007, Boltus won the Melberger Award as the outstanding player in Division III. He was 237 of 443 passing for 3,986 yards and 38 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 418 yards and seven TDs, leading the Hawks to the NCAA playoffs for the first time.
This season, he has thrown for 3,265 yards and 35 touchdowns heading into the final game of the regular season for Hartwick (6-2). He leads Division III in total offense at 425 yards per game and points responsible for at 27.7 per game.
A year ago, needing a win over Utica to make the postseason, Boltus led the Hawks to a 72-70 overtime triumph, throwing for 420 yards and six touchdowns. He ran for another score and the game-winning two-point conversion. It was the most points scored by two teams in a single game since the NCAA began keeping official records in 1937.
“The trigger man is the key guy, and he’s got the physical stature,” said Paul Vosburgh, coach of perennial Division III power St. John Fisher. “You’ve got to take a look at the guy.
“He passes the eyeball test. He’s’ the strongest kid on the team. He’s the fastest kid on the team. Somebody had better take a look at him. Get him out of Hartwick.”
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