Charles Bertoli, Il Toro Italiano

Il Toro Italiano

Il Toro Italiano

Charles Bertoli is one incredible runner. In fact, he may be Boise State’s most impressive unheard-of to date.

This is a Boise State story of epic proportions in the making. A guy not heavily recruited who is waiting for a chance to show the PAC they should have looked at him closer. He’s a walk-on at Boise.

At 5’11” and 200 he has bull-like strength, able to bench 355 pounds. He has above average speed and quickness. That 355 pounds he presses is more about heart than strength.

The question is, where does he play with other talented runners? Easy; if he performs, step aside and let the big dog have his bone. Speaking of bones, he is bone tough and bad to the bone. At the risk of stereotyping he looks like he could fill a role in a remake of The Sopranos.

Looking at a some footage from his high school days, he has an uncanny ability to avoid tacklers. He finds a way to run against the grain. He is able to detect an open seam and get there. He out runs a lot people also.

Bertoli will not go down easily. He will not give up. There is only one thing better than a running back with talent, it’s a running back who is hungry. Hunger is a tremendous motivator.

Have you ever just looked at somebody and thought to yourself, ‘I don’t want to mess with that guy.’ I think he’d stiff-arm his grandma to avoid a tackle. I’m not talking about his personal life, but rather who he is behind the face mask.

Years ago a friend became a head coach of a high school program that had lost 50 straight games and had not won the home opener in 30 years against their arch rivals.

When he moved into town he heard there was a kid in school who could run the 100 in less than 10. There was only one problem; he was Italian.

The town was ethnically divided; half Italian and half Polish. There was an unwritten rule that Italians played baseball and Polish played football and nobody dare cross the line.

My friend convinced the Italian kid to play football. Before the first game the boosters were about the run my friend out of town on a rail, but acquiesced knowing that an Italian kid could not play football.

The first game of the season the Italian kid took the opening kick-off for a 90 yard touchdown. A few minutes later he ran 68 yards from scrimmage for another score.

The final score was 48 – 0. The Italian kid scored five touchdowns.

After the game the Polish president of the booster’s club came up to my friend and said, “Italians only in the backfield. I don’t think they will do so good on the line of scrimmage.”

Maybe Charles Bertoli is that kid.



Filed under Boise, Essays, Sports

2 responses to “Charles Bertoli, Il Toro Italiano

  1. Not sure if it really matters who is the primary RB this season, in fact, I certainly hope that we have at least 3 RB’s that can step in and get the job done. Here is to hoping that we have a solid, deep and destructive backfield this year.

Blather away, if you like.

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