He's no longer one of the Sac-Joaquin Section's top talents without a home at the next level.
Manteca High quarterback Gino Campiotti has committed to Northern Arizona University. The 6-foot-3 Campiotti, a three-sport athlete, announced his decision on Twitter.
A heralded signal-caller, Campiotti used his pursuit of a Division I scholarship offer as motivation going into his senior season. It led to impressive victories over regional contenders Valley Christian of San Jose and Christian Brothers early in the season.
It wasn't until he put together a historic run through the postseason, though, that his recruitment intensified. Campiotti was offered by NAU on Dec. 19 and committed to the Big Sky contender after taking an official visit last weekend.
"I want to take a minute to thank all of the people who have been a part of this journey," he wrote in a message pinned to his Twitter profile. "I especially want to thank God because without him, none of this would be possible. After a lot of thought and prayer, and an unbelievable official visit, I am truly honored to announce that I will be continuing my academic and football career at Northern Arizona University. Thank you coach (Aaron) Pflugrad and coach (Jerome) Souers for this incredible, life-changing opportunity."
Campiotti was named the Valley Oak League's MVP, living up to his billing as the most unique weapon in the toughest conference in the southern half of the Sac-Joaquin Section.
Campiotti is a dual-threat quarterback with freakish athletic ability. He plays basketball and baseball for the Buffaloes, who have appeared in three state playoff games with Campiotti on the roster: the 2015-16 CIF State Division III basketball final (won); the 2016 CIF State Northern California Division III-AA regional bowl (lost); and last fall's Division II-A regional bowl (lost).
"Gino is a terrific quarterback," Oakdale coach Trent Merzon told The Bee back in October, "and he has the ability to take over a game by himself. ... For us, all eyes will be on No. 3, defensively. Everything they want to do -- everything! -- will run through No. 3, as it should. We've run the gamut of terrific quarterbacks, but Gino is truly unique. He's athletic and can throw, and he likes the bright lights."
Campiotti passed for 3,265 yards and 39 touchdowns in his final season, while rushing for 595 yards and 15 TDs. His yardage, touchdowns, completions (221) and attempts (357) are single-season program records.
He was even better in the postseason. An injury to sophomore running back Trabron Russell meant that Campiotti, playing behind a veteran offensive line, would have to bear the brunt of the offensive production.
The end result: One of the most remarkable postseason performances in Stanislaus District history. In five games, Campiotti passed for 1,343 yards, rushed for 361 yards and totaled 24 touchdowns. In the Division III final, Campiotti burned Oakdale for five touchdowns.
One week later, in a 28-23 loss to eventual CIF State champion Saint Francis of Mountain View, Campiotti threw for 322 yards and two touchdowns. His 35-yard strike to sophomore Jacob DeJesus in the final 90 seconds cut the deficit to five.
Campiotti joins a Lumberjack roster that includes former Del Oro quarterback Stone Smartt. The Lumberjacks were 7-5 last fall and tied for second in the Big Sky with Sacramento Sate and Eastern Washington. All three 6-2, trailing only Weber State and Southern Utah, both of whom were 7-1 in conference.