For JP Zamora, Chiawana’s young signal-caller and the top in-state quarterback prospect in the class of 2022, Utah’s persistence paid off.
It was the daily calls, texts, FaceTimes and letters — enough pieces of parchment to fill an entire wall in his house — that separated the Utes, the only Pac-12 school to offer the junior to this point, though he’d spoken with every school in the Power 5 west coast conference.
Zamora gave his verbal commitment to the University of Utah on Monday, joining Lincoln’s Chance Bogan as the second top recruit in the class of 2022 to make an early commitment.
He held an offer from Nevada, and held plenty of interest, but Utah developed a relationship. They’d invested in the 6-foot-4 dual-threat quarterback early — and it paid off.
“They were the clear favorite,” Zamora told SBLive. “They said they saw my film, they could see the development happen each year. They saw my freshman film. They sent me 50-60 letters.”
Part of committing early, Zamora said, was to provide himself some certainty by making a pledge to a program he knew valued him, and he felt a connection to. With the high school season postponed from the fall to the spring in Washington, and the uncertainty around when prep sports will return across the state, Zamora was seeking some certainty.
“I’m relieved now,” he said. “Now I feel like I can just go out and play my game and not worry about who’s here, not have to stress about it, play with no pressure.”
Zamora helped lead Chiawana to an MCC title and the first round of the 4A state playoffs in 2019 as a sophomore. He threw for 1,993 yards with around a 60 percent completion percentage, 22 touchdowns opposite 11 picks and an innate ability to make a play on his feet when needed. He started around half of the season as a freshman at the state’s biggest high school.
He had a call last week with Utah offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig before the Utes played USC on Saturday. He followed up with the Utes’ recruiting assistant before the game and said he was sitting down with his family to discuss his future. When Utah lost to USC, 33-17, Zamora told the Utes staffer he’d contact them the following week, after the team cooled off and began preparation for the next game.
On Monday, Zamora called and gave his verbal commitment.
What most excites Zamora about the more than a year that separates him from stepping foot onto campus as a college student is just how much he hopes to improve in the interim. He’s still growing — several family members really filled out between their junior and senior years of high school, including his older brother, Joey Zamora, who led Chiawana to a show-stopping last-minute comeback against Camas to win the 2013 4A state title. Joey bulked up more than 25 pounds in that time frame, JP said.
“I still have a whole year and half of high school to develop,” he said, “… I’m just expecting my fill-out to be this year.”