Former Camas QB, who led Papermakers to 2016 state title, says he will sign with the Beavers
Jack Colletto bet on himself a year ago, so sure that he could earn a scholarship to play quarterback for a college football team in a Power 5 conference.
The gamble has paid off, with Colletto announcing via Twitter on Friday that he will sign with Oregon State.
“I just want to make the program relevant,” Colletto said. “That’s the vision (new coach) Jonathan Smith has. Bring in good people, change the culture, get Oregon State moving in the right direction. I’m on board. If we can get enough recruits, enough guys, enough talent, the sky’s the limit.”
Colletto, the former Camas High School quarterback who helped the Papermakers to the 2016 Class 4A state championship, opted to attend Arizona Western Junior College in 2017. He was not satisfied with the Division I offers from other programs after his senior year in high school.
His dream since he began playing the game has been to one day play quarterback in the NFL.
Colletto moved to Camas in the middle of his sophomore year of high school. He was a starter on defense as a junior, but he was a backup quarterback behind a senior.
His only season of playing quarterback for Camas was one for the ages.
He was named the Gatorade state football Player of the Year after he led Camas to its first state championship and 14-0 season. A dual threat, Colletto threw 27 touchdown passes and rushed for 21 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards.
At Arizona Western this season, he played in all 10 games, backing up the starting quarterback. Colletto showed enough talent to impress many big schools. In the end, it came down to Oregon State of the Pac-12 or Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference.
Colletto noted the “amazing group of coaches” that Smith has brought to OSU.
“I could see myself going to both schools and being happy,” he said. “Down the road, I would have regretted not going to Oregon State after seeing all those coaches. It was something way too good to pass up.”
Colletto also has a chance to play right away with the Beavers. He expects to be on campus in Corvallis in time for spring drills. He has been told he will get a chance to compete for the starting job.
“For me, I’ve played the waiting game a little too much,” Colletto said, alluding to his first season at Camas and then his season at Arizona Western. “I just want to get out, compete, and play.”
Colletto also is grateful for the way Arizona Western coach Tom Minnick helped out in the recruiting process. The coach did not try to talk Colletto into a second season at Arizona Western and told all of the four-year programs that Colletto was ready.
“He was in it for me, what was best for me,” Colletto said.
Colletto called it a dream come true to get to the Pac-12, but this is just beginning. He believes Oregon State will turn it around under Smith and become a force in the conference. And he believes that he will one day play professional football. So the celebration of signing with the Beavers will not last long.
“I still feel there is a lot more to prove,” he said. “Once I get on campus, it will be all work and business.”
A year ago, Colletto did hear the whispers that he was making a mistake, that he should have accepted an offer from a four-year school, even if it was not his ideal situation. Today, he said he would be lying if he didn’t want to boast about his decision.
“I had a vision of where I wanted to be and what my goals were,” Colletto said. “Sometimes taking a different path to get to the same destination is a better route. Staying focused on the process helped me get through all of this.”
The route from Camas to Corvallis is 103 miles. Surely, there will be Papermakers making that drive to support one of their own.
Colletto said no matter where football takes him, he will always recall the fall of 2016.
“I look back on it and it still feels like something that wasn’t real,” he said. “Just a good memory.”
Now he is hoping for more good memories in the Northwest.
“Go Beavs,” he said.