Jason Boltus Interview Quarterback - Hartwick By: Tony Conty 7/1/08 You can listen to the audio of this interview by Clicking Here Tony Conty: We want to make sure that our readers know more about you and promote you to the best of our ability. What is your current height, weight, and 40 time? Jason Boltus: I would say 6'3", 225, and 4.55. Tony Conty: Wow! That's better than a lot of the predictors have you. That will be a good surprise for them. Jason Boltus: On my junior day, I ran a 4.75, but it was rainy and in rainy conditions, so I know I can run faster than that with training and stuff. Tony Conty: The number of rushing touchdowns that you had this year would indicate that as well. Talk about what a typical day is like at this point in the year. Here we in June. What is a typical day like? Jason Boltus: Well, me not being a scholarship guy, you gotta go work and then you lift and you throw. I keep doing the little things that work: lifting and running. I just keep training. Tony Conty: Now, obviously, a lot of the attention that you are receiving is based on the fact that you received the Melberger award this season and that is a great honor. Describe the experience of winning that award this season. Jason Boltus: It was really a great honor to great, really a tremendous season, going from having losing records six years in a row. We won the conference championship and it all rolls around to my teammates. Without receivers catching the ball and linemen blocking, it all rolls around on itself. My teammates...I have to give thanks to them and hopefully this year means bigger and better things and just moving along. Tony Conty: A lot with the Melberger award dealt with your off-the-field activities. Talk about what you've done off the field that has garnered you some positive attention. Jason Boltus: Well, I am trying to do a lot of community service now. I go to the Food Pantry and serve old people the food and I work at camps with coaches. I try to give back to kids, high school and younger ages with fundamentals of throwing. I'm just trying to do some little things. I am trying to make it positive for people that look up to you and follow in your footsteps. Tony Conty: As someone who has gotten involved, you were mentioned in conjunction with flood relief in your area and a lot of youth football programs. What do you feel about players who don't use their celebrity for positive reasons or use that notoriety for a positive effect on the rest of the world? Jason Boltus: There are a lot of people who are busy people with lives to live, too, but I feel like, if you don't give back, you are not hurting yourself, but you are hurting younger kids. They look up to you, but they will look up to you about a hundred times more. It helps everyone out. I like to give back everything I know. It's all thanks to coaches. It's all thanks to them, so I like to give back and have them experience things for themselves. Tony Conty: I have a lot of family up in the Eastwood area of Syracuse. What led you to Albany coming out of C. W. Baker? Jason Boltus: It was probably one of the biggest schools that offered me...I really didn't think...I mean, the NFL was a dream of mine but I didn't think that it would be an opportunity for me, so I went to Albany because it was a 1-AA program playing a lot of big time competition. They said that I would have a chance to compete right away after my redshirt year for the Quarterback spot. The offense...they were changing it to spread for me to play in it. The offense, well...it never really go changed. It was still an option-based offense. I kind of moved on. Hartwick recruited me out of high school and I just fell back there. Tony Conty: With that said, you were talking about a lot of smaller schools that were showing you attention. Talk about this small-school mentality. I talked to a lot of people like Xavier Omon who said that their background was an advantage, but they felt like they always had to fight for what they had. How can you use your background as an advantage when you consider your football future? Jason Boltus: A small school is kind of an advantage, but it also hurts. People will look at you and say that the speed of the game is different as is the competition level. I mean, you aren't playing in the SEC or anything. You can't take anything for granted because you are guaranteed nothing for your degree. When you go to a small school, you go for your degree first. I am so glad this football thing came out, but, if it didn't, I know that I have a good degree to fall back on, but you fight for everything you got. You are never guaranteed anything in life. Tony Conty: You won the award this year and obviously in your conference, Coach of the Year was Mark Carr. What have you learned from that coach? Jason Boltus: Probably everything I know. He's done so much for me. I give him all the thanks in the world. In high school, I kind of handed the ball off all the time and I didn't really have a position coach. I thought that I had a huge upside going into college. I went to Hartwick and now I can read defenses. Everything I know...I watch hours and hours of film with Coach Carr. It's a wonderful experience. We design plays. We come up with plays on the field. I mean, the relationship we have...it's just great because we get along. I can't describe it really, because we are just so alike. Everything I know basically comes from him. Tony Conty: So, in that regard, you mentioned how you turned it around. You had a great winning season and awards for you and your coach. Did you notice as the year went along teams were approaching you differently? Jason Boltus: Yeah, a lot of teams were just trying ultimately to stop me single-handedly and not worry about the receivers. We and our coaches just came up with good game plans and taking what they are giving us. I tried not to do too much. That goes for this year. Just take what they give you: nickel-and-dime down the field and score touchdowns. Tony Conty: Amen. What would you say your greatest strength is as a signal-caller? Jason Boltus: Well, at the level I'm at, I would say my ability to run, because if nothing's open and the linebackers get depth, I can take it and run somewhere. That takes a huge threat off of the defense, because now they respect you as a runner. You can take off at any time if nothing is open. If they take the receiver, you can run. If they take you, you can throw. Tony Conty: That said, what are you trying to improve at this point in your career? Jason Boltus: Trying to improve? I would say consistency, trying to put the ball on the money 95 % of the time. Every now and again, you are going to have a bad ball, but just try to be consistent, try to make the right reads and try not to do too much. We take what they give us. Tony Conty: In the film that we've watched on you, one was against Norwich in October, which was one of your worst statistically, but with an excellent first half and you never seemed to lose control when they started to come back. What do you do as a leader when you feel that the other team may start to come back? Jason Boltus: All you have to do is just stay calm. My thing is calm, cool, and collected, and a lot of the Offensive Linemen and others were frustrated when they scored two quick touchdowns. We were only up by 5 points. In that game, there was so little that they could do. They took away the field and the whole passing game. You couldn't grab a football. We kept saying that if we keep getting first downs and run the clock out, we can win this thing, so stay positive. Tony Conty: Another tape we got to watch was a lot more exciting of a game and that was against Ithaca. You came back in the third. It was definitely an offensive battle and one that, statistically speaking, was one of your best. Are you the type of player that can ignore stats and just try to win the football game or do you get caught up in your individual accomplishments? Jason Boltus: I just want to win ball games. That was the whole thing when I went to Hartwick. That team was 1-9 and 2-8 before I got there and I just wanted to win ball games. I mean, nobody likes losing...it's not fun. I mean, we lost a little bit in high school. It's not fun. I could not care less if I had 100 yards passing or 50 yards passing. As long as we win, I'm happy. Tony Conty: Building on that great season, what is Hartwick, as a team working on to build on that successful year? Jason Boltus: We are trying to just do the same things. We want to keep our heads right, win the Conference Title and get to the NCAA Tournament again and try to get a little push further instead of just getting to the first round. We're trying to make a run at it. Tony Conty: As a draftnik on our site, people try to pigeon-hole guys into title, like "This guy's a Pocket Passer" or "This guy's a Scrambler". Now, you, having the size that people want as well as the mobility, you tend to transcend any title that people could give you. Do you think that people underestimated you at all at this point in your career? Jason Boltus: Not really. At some points, I think that I could be on a higher level, but I'm happy where I am at. At Hartwick, I have gotten a great chance to play. Ultimately, what I wanted was to be on the field, play, and have fun and I got to play as a Freshman. In high school, I was definitely more of a pocket passer and I was a little overweight going to Albany. I got in shape and now I am, like, 225, and I can run and throw. My body went through a whole change and kind of led me to where I am at right now, kind of being a dual threat. That's what I wanted to be, just playing and having fun. Tony Conty: So, if you meet your dream of playing in the NFL, is there a type of NFL offense that you think best suits your strengths? Jason Boltus: I mean, probably like the Rams...just a spread offense that's wide open. I would just be so thrilled. It has just been a dream since I was a little kid. My Dad played at N. C. State and he told me how he had some offers to sign a Free Agent deal to go play for somebody, but he had a great job coming out of college so he took that. I have always known since I was a little kid that I wanted to try to get to that level and see where I could go with it. That's just what I am trying to do. You have to get someone to take a chance on you and do the best you can. Tony Conty: So, what current NFL Quarterbacks do you admire? Jason Boltus: I am kind of like an Old School guy. I used to watch Dan Marino all the time...Troy Aikman...Steve Young. I love watching Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. They are just geniuses on the field and I watch them all the time. I try to figure out what they are seeing and what kind of plays they got. Tony Conty: We will end this with an opportunity for you to self-promote. Why should a team give you a shot at the NFL Level? Jason Boltus: It's a had thing to do. I don't like talking about myself. I don't know...I just look at films and coaches do a lot of it for me. I am kind of modest if you know what I mean. If I had to say a couple things, I would say that I have the size and I have a pretty strong arm.and I am pretty mobile. Those are a couple things. Tony Conty: Well, thank you very much. We wish you the best of luck in this coming season. We'll be watching you very closely.