Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It's another offseason for Jason Boltus, which means the Baldwinsville native is training hard to get back on the field. Last spring, the former Hartwick College quarterback played in the Arena Fooball League, and followed that up with four months in the Canadian Football League.
"CFL, AFL, UFL," Boltus said. "I'm proud of where I'm at, but constantly trying to reach a higher potential."
That's exactly why Boltus continues to bounce around from league to league, chasing the biggest dream of all.
"NFL is the ultimate goal, it should be at any level," he said. "Whether you're a football player trying to make the NFL, if you're a baseball player you should try to make the MLB. Like I always told myself, reach for the stars and you'll land on the moon."
For Boltus, reaching the stars became a goal during his junior year at Hartwick. By the time he graduated in 2009, he held school records for passing yards and touchdowns, but no NFL teams took a chance on him.
"I just kept my mindset going that I was going to make this game happen, whether it be one year from now, two years from now," Boltus said. "I just kept working hard."
Five years later, Boltus has yet to taste the NFL, but he doesn't look at that as a failure. He says he's lucky to make a living doing something not many get to do.
"There's only a short, short span of time you can play professional sports before your body takes a toll. I'm getting older, they're getting younger, so my window is very small to get in there."
Which leaves the 27-year old entering new territory: What happens if he's no longer playing football in a few years?
What happens if he needs a new career by age 30?
"In the NFL," Boltus said. "They play for such a short time, and you live such a great lifestyle, but you have to have a plan B to maintain your lifestyle or live within your means."
Boltus has a few plan B's: being a personal trainer or even a coach.
That's reality is the NFL may not come calling. Sometimes, the stars just don't align.
"I think everyone knows when their time is up," Boltus said. "It's important to make sure I can go outside and throw a football with my kid when I have the opportunity. I don't want to be so beat up I can't do those things. I would say two-three more years if I'm able to do that. If not, I'll start a plan B. I think I'll be good either way."
Boltus hopes to get his personal training certificate within the next year. As far as football goes, he's currently a free agent.