PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Five years and 43 games played in later, you’d think Oregon State’s Jack Colletto might be ready to move on after game 44, which comes in the form of the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 17.

That is hardly the case.

“Don’t make me tear up now, man. Gosh, I don’t even know,” said Jack Colletto. “I really do believe it’s not really the end of something. It’s more the start of something new.”

The Camas High alum knows a thing or two about new beginnings.

When he first arrived at Oregon State University in 2018, the Beavers had just wrapped up a two-win season and had hired Jonathan Smith as their new head coach. Now, the Beavers are on the precipice of the third ten-win season in program history.

“You could go somewhere where there’s already an established program, and they put you in the system, and then you constantly meet expectations, but to start at the bottom and being a part of that, and being able to create something here, is honestly the best feeling you can have,” said Colletto.

As for the best decision Colletto’s ever had?

Well, switching from the position he came in playing —quarterback– to linebacker, has to be up there.

“Gosh, I mean, if we’re thinking about hypotheticals, I mean, who knows what would’ve come about if I decided to stick with the quarterback thing, and with what’s created out of that decision for me and the opportunities, I really have no regrets,” said Colletto.

If you’ve paid attention to Colletto’s career at all though, you know that’s not all he’s played for the Beavers.

In the 2022 season alone, he’s had 46 yards receiving, 53 yards passing, and has scored six touchdowns from the fullback position. And he also plays on special teams. It’s no wonder he won the Paul Hornung Award on Wednesday, which is given to the most versatile player in college football.

“Who knows, with the NFL and the 53-man roster, I do believe there’s a lot of teams that value versatility,” said Colletto of the possibility of continuing to play multiple positions in the professional ranks. “The more you can do at a high level, the more value you can add, really.”

So yes, that means Colletto’s plan is to hammer the NFL next.

“I mean, really reflecting back, this is the dream that I’ve had since I was a third grader,” said Colletto. “Everything I’ve decided to do and where I wanted to go was to set myself up for the best chance to ultimately make a living in the NFL and have a long career there, so to be able to finally say that, it’s a bit of a surreal experience.”

But he’s not out the door in Corvallis just yet, and he has a message for the fans for the time being:

“Beaver nation’s the best. I’m just going to say that right now. I’m saying it on…is this on TV or is it? TV, pretty much, okay, yeah,” as Jack turned and looked into the camera. “Beaver nation’s the best. Mark it. There we go.”

The Beavers will take on the Florida Gators in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec.17 at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN.