CAMAS — JC is going to a JC.
Camas quarterback Jack Colletto, the high school football player of the year in Washington, turned down several offers from four-year programs to play for a junior college in Arizona.
Colletto signed with Arizona Western College in hopes of becoming the quarterback of the Matadors.
“Based on what I saw, I didn’t think there was a great fit,” Colletto said of his big-school offers. “I was waiting, trying to find something that would fit. Playing for a JC, I could play for two years and then find that place.”
Ultimately, Colletto said, the goal is to play for a Football Bowl Subdivision program.
“Yes,” he said.
The recruiting process of Colletto as a quarterback was slowed due to the fact that he only started one season with Camas.
Of course, it was a season of the ages.
Colletto threw for more than 2,800 yards with 27 touchdowns passes against four interceptions. He rushed for more than 1,200 yards and 21 scores. He also shined on defense as a safety. The Papermakers won the Class 4A state title in December, capping a 14-0 season.
The 6-foot-3 QB was named the state player of the year by Gatorade, The Associated Press, the Seattle Times, and the News Tribune of Tacoma.
Colletto said he did not have enough time after the season to make a quality decision on a four-year school before signing day in early February. With offers for both quarterback and “athlete,” Colletto said he is willing to keep his options open regarding position, but he believes he is a quarterback.
Playing at Arizona Western, one of the top junior college football programs in the nation, will allow for him to improve his game and lead to a more thorough recruiting process for an FBS school, formerly Division I-A.
“I’ll know what to expect a little more,” Colletto said. “It was a challenge to figure out what I was supposed to be looking for. What positives really mattered versus what negatives didn’t matter.”
Arizona Western, located in Yuma, contacted Colletto after he did not sign with a four-year program.
“Once I started considering it, I realized it wasn’t a bad route,” Colletto said. “It’s really just a different path.”
Camas coach Jon Eagle said he is excited for this opportunity for Colletto and loves the decision-making process that led to Arizona Western.
“It’s kind of something out of the ordinary,” Eagle said. “That’s Jack.”
An offer from a four-year program is a credit to any player’s talent. That does not mean a player should put himself into an uncomfortable situation. Eagle said if Colletto did not feel right about the offers, he is doing the right thing by taking a pass.
“He’s taking his future into his own hands. He’s in control of what’s going to happen,” Eagle said. “I kind of like a guy who gets a scholarship offer and says ‘No thanks. I’m going to do this.’ Pretty good for him.”
Colletto said he still takes time now and then to reflect on the perfect season he and his teammates shared last fall. But he also is driven to excel beyond high school.
“I’ve been trying to focus on my offseason, trying to get ready for the next level,” Colletto said.
That will take him to Arizona Western. That might be a bit unorthodox, but it works for Colletto.
“I felt a little more fulfilled once I realized where I was going,” he said.