Former Boise State tailback Charles Bertoli said Friday he decided to leave the football team to pursue other interests, including his plans to become a pilot.
Bertoli hopes to get his private pilot license this summer to begin logging hours for a potential career in military or civilian aviation. He also was concerned that if he sustained a severe concussion playing football he could be disqualified from military programs.
He has three semesters remaining as a criminal justice major. He plans to stay at Boise State and might play on the club baseball team.
“I felt like I’d kind of reached all the goals I set for myself as far as my (football) career,” he said. “I wanted to score a touchdown and carry the Hammer. I’ve done both of those things. Recently, I’ve been not as interested in the game anymore. That’s hard to say because in high school all I really cared about was football. After I got here, I kind of saw how many other things that there were to do. That, combined with wanting to fly, (was the reason).”
Bertoli has wrestled with his feelings about football since his redshirt year in 2012. He stuck with the sport figuring that playing time would rekindle his love of the game. He likely would have played more than ever this season.
“That’s definitely one of the things I’ve been thinking about, whether or not increased playing time would change how I feel about the game,” he said. “It’s defintiely something that I’ll have to wonder about and think what could have been. ... I don’t think the playing time was too much of a problem for me. It was me – I was ready to head a different way. I was ready to start new things in my life.”
Bertoli received a scholarship in 2014 after walking onto the program originally. He received an academic scholarship that allowed him to pay in-state tuition when he was a walk-on and has confirmed that he’ll be able to regain that scholarship, he said.
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ORIGINAL POST FROM THURSDAY:
Charles Bertoli has left the team for undisclosed reasons, according to the university.
Bertoli was a key special teams player the last two seasons and was expected to contribute at tailback this season. He initially walked on at Boise State in 2012 and received a scholarship in 2014.
Bertoli was featured in the Idaho Statesman last month as a player coaches said had become a leader and would be a factor on offense this season. He played in 27 games and had 27 carries for 139 yards in his career, scoring one touchdown. On special teams last year, he forced a fumble and recovered two. He carried the Hammer against New Mexico.
A product of St. Helena, Calif., Bertoli said in the March 24 story that he wants to train to become a Navy pilot after college.
His departure whittles the race for playing time at tailback. Junior Devan Demas and senior Jack Fields have performed well in spring ball, coach Bryan Harsin said.
Sophomore Jeremy McNichols has been out this spring while recovering from hernia surgery. Redshirt freshman Cory Young and sophomore walk-on Ryan Wolpin also are competing for the spot vacated by NFL-bound Jay Ajayi.