2022 WINNER – (JACK COLLETTO )
After Oregon State defeated Florida, 30-3, in the 2022 SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl, Beavers’ head coach Jonathan Smith said of Jack Colletto: “We’re going to have to replace him with three or four guys.”
Colletto did everything during his five years in Corvallis, becoming a fan favorite of Beaver Nation and earning the nickname “Jackhammer” for his versatility on the football field.
The native of Camas, Wash., became the 13th winner of the Paul Hornung Award, which is given annually to college football’s most versatile player. He is the fourth player from the Pac-12 Conference and the first since Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey in 2015 to earn the prestigious honor.
“This is just an amazing feeling, not just for me but for the program,” Colletto said. “To put in all this work and be recognized for what I’ve been able to do, it’s truly something special. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the support from a lot of people, especially those around the program and my immediate family. I appreciate all the help and support.”
“I’d like to congratulate Jack on a well-deserved honor,” Smith said on the day of the announcement. “He came to Oregon State as a quarterback and made the transition to linebacker and special teams while still being a big part of our offense. That versatility on offense, defense and special teams has been a big part of our success this season. I’m proud he has worn the Orange and Black since 2018 as he has been a great representative for this program and Beaver Nation.”
Colletto played in 43 career games for the Beavers after joining the program in 2018. During that time, he rushed for 401 yards and 22 touchdowns, which ties him for 10th in the Oregon State career record books. He has also completed 25 passes – 23 in 2018 – while totaling four receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, he made 51 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss, an interception, two pass deflections, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
This past season Colletto was a mainstay on Oregon State’s offense, defense and special teams. He has 27 tackles with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Offensively, he rushed for 103 yards and six touchdowns on 27 carries while also completing both passes he attempted for 53 yards and catching three for 46 yards.
Colletto is the first FBS player since 2013 to record at least 10 tackles, catch at least one pass, complete at least one pass and score at least one touchdown in the same season.
In the Las Vegas Bowl, he capped his remarkable career with a blocked punt, the first of his career, two rushes for 17 yards, including an 11-yard run on a fake punt, and four tackles on defense.
Oregon State concluded the 2022 season with a 10-3 record, becoming just the third team in program history to earn 10 wins in a season.
During his final year in a Beaver uniform, Colletto was awarded with All-Purpose honors as a Phil Steele First Team All-American, an All-Pac-12 First Team selection and Associated Press All-Pac-12 Second Team recognition.
After the bowl game he declared for the NFL Draft and put a message on social media that said: “My past five years at Oregon State have been everything but ordinary. From transitioning from quarterback to linebacker to doing everything I could to be one the field to help contribute to this team, I am content knowing that I gave this program everything I had. While there were numerous bumps in the road on my journey, I have absolutely zero regrets about everything that happened for me here at Oregon State.”
Before committing to Oregon State, Colletto played one season at Arizona Western College after graduating from Camas High School in 2017.
When Smith introduced his first Beavers’ recruiting class in 2018, he thought he had something special with the signing of Colletto. “He can do a lot of different things, moving, running, he throws it really well. Sharp kid.”
Not only did Colletto excel on the field, but he was just as successful in the classroom, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. He was selected to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll three times and received Academic All-District honors in 2022.
During Colletto’s senior year at Camas High School, he led the Papermakers to a 14-0 record and a state championship by throwing for 2,846 yards and 27 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,253 yards and 21 touchdowns.
He was named the Seattle Times Player of the Year, the Gatorade Player of the Year for Washington and earned league player of the year honors following his senior season of high school.
Colletto credits his parents, Bert and Kris, and his brother, Nick, for instilling a work ethic and a belief that you can accomplish anything if you put in the effort to achieve your goals.
He enjoys cooking and said his favorite thing to make is his grandmother’s secret spaghetti sauce.
Colletto began a website this past year that sells Jackhammer merchandise at www.jackhammercolletto.com. People of all ages throughout the state of Oregon have been seen wearing official Jackhammer hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts and beanies.
He is proud to donate 25% of all proceeds from purchases made at his website to the Wounded Warrior Project. “It’s very important that I contribute to people who have sacrificed so much,” he said.
Colletto’s next goal is to play in the National Football League and is willing to do anything possible to make a roster and help a team win.
Oregon State fans have watched his success the past five years and know he has the talent and versatility to succeed at the next level, whether it’s on offense, defense or special teams.
Colletto often downplayed his ability to play anywhere on the field saying “If you can get on the field and play, that’s a lot better than standing and watching. If you’re helping and contributing and you’re in the competition aspect of it, it makes Saturday so much more enjoyable.”
After the 2022 season Nick Daschel of the Oregonian was asked on Twitter by a loyal Beaver fan: “How do we ever replace the Jackhammer?” His response was short and to the point. “You don’t. He’s a unicorn.”
Click here to view all photos from the 2023 Paul Hornung Award Ceremony
Chosen as finalists were Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State; Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama; and Will Shipley, Clemson.
Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State sophomore wide receiver / return specialist. Ohio State’s speedy wide receiver Emeka Egbuka also lines up at H-back and in the backfield on offense, is a regular handling punt returns, spot plays on kickoff returns and is a season-long member of the punt coverage team. He averages 60.5 snaps per game, leads the team and is 10th in the Big 10 with 108 all-purpose yards per game and has scored nine times on the season, twice rushing and seven times receiving. Egbuka has four games of 100+ yards receiving and made the Paul Hornung Award Weekly Honor Roll four times after wins over Notre Dame, Toledo, Michigan State and Iowa. He is fearless fair-catching punts at any location on the field (16 for the season) and averages 8.2 yards per return, second in the Big 10.
Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama senior running back / return specialist. The Crimson Tide’s Jahmyr Gibbs is a workhorse running back who is also used extensively in the passing game and is a regular returning kickoffs. Gibbs averages 47 snaps per game and is ninth in the nation and third in the SEC with 144.4 all-purpose yards per game. He leads the team in scoring, rushing and receptions while ranking second in receiving yards. Gibbs touched the ball 20 times three different ways and scored once in a win over Texas, touched the ball 25 times three different ways in a win over Texas A&M and had a career day in the Tide’s shootout with Tennessee: played 74 snaps, touched the ball 32 times three different ways for 202 all-purpose yards, scored three touchdowns and accounted for 10 first downs.
Will Shipley, Clemson sophomore running back / return specialist. Clemson speedster Will Shipley carries the load for the Tigers at running back while also playing slot, wide receiver, H-back and returning kickoffs. Shipley averages 47 snaps per game, has four 100+ rushing games, averages 26.4 yards per kickoff return and is second in the ACC and 20th nationally in all-purpose yards per game with 131.4. He is one of two FBS players with 800 yards rushing, 150 yards receiving and 150 return yards. Shipley had a career-high 248 all-purpose yards versus Florida State, including a 69-yard kickoff return to open the second half that set up what proved to be the winning score; and he was Mr. Everything versus Syracuse: played 60 snaps, touched the ball 32 times three different ways for 242 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, including a 50-yard scoring run that proved to be the game-winner.