"Saddle-up, Charlie." With those words University of Maryland football coach Jerry Claiborne nudged Charlie Wysocki toward the playing field. Charlie knew what was expected. He would take the hand-off from quarterback Boomer Esiason and rush toward the slice of daylight created by his offensive line, over and over again until he reached the end zone.
With each punishing foray into enemy territory, Charlie put a greater distance between himself and the lost boy named Charlie DeGraffenreid. Every big gain or touchdown moved him closer to his dream of playing in the NFL
Now Charlie Wysocki finally gets to tell his story. From Pennsylvania high school wrestling champion and college All-ACC football player, his life spiraled down to a depth from which few have ever returned. Charlie still fights today for redemption and a shot at the happiness that mental illness has denied him.
The Wysocki odyssey is an uneasy voyage, but one that will prove too compelling to miss.
What others are saying about "Saddle Up, Charlie"
"Saddle Up, Charlie is about Charlie Wysocki's life and his ability to survive overwhelming adversity. Many think his story is tragic, but there's a quiet beauty to it. Look closer and you will find a man suffering from bi-polar disorder, never asking ‘why me?’ Charlie still inspires me, and Saddle Up, Charlie will inspire you!" -Dave Pacella - All-ACC offensive tackle University of Maryland, Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) and Washington Federals (USFL)
“Charlie was in the Dallas Cowboys camp with Tom Landry and Tony Dorsett one day and battling a mental illness the next. Words cannot describe how glad I am that Charlie’s story is finally being told. Despite incredible obstacles, his life is a success story and an inspiration to the mentally ill and the sports world.”-Dan LaMagna – Owner and Former Coach NEPA Miners Football Team