Hersey quarterback Colton Gumino's wish comes true with commitment to UCLA

Gumino passed for 2,488 yards and 35 touchdowns, completing 72% of his passes with a 142.8 quarterback rating last season.

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Hersey's Colton Gumino (1) rolls out of the pocket as he looks for an open receiver.

Hersey’s Colton Gumino (1) rolls out of the pocket as he looks for an open receiver.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Colton Gumino’s dream has turned into reality — with a bit of a twist.

“I just remember watching Big Ten football as a little kid,” the Hersey quarterback said. “With the snap of a finger, [I’m] there.”

The rising senior is going to the Big Ten, and he’s also going to the West Coast after committing to UCLA.

“I’m probably one of the first kids in a while to come from the Midwest all the way to LA,” Gumino said. “I’m breaking the mold.”

The Bruins, who make their Big Ten debut this fall, started recruiting Gumino this spring and had him on campus for a Friday night practice.

“I really got a feel for them,” he said.

This summer, UCLA reps stopped by Hersey to see Gumino throw, liked what they saw and offered him a scholarship. He took an official visit, liked what he saw and gave the Bruins his commitment on June 28.

That came just as Gumino’s recruiting was starting to heat up with another Power Four offer from Florida. He’s a three-star prospect rated 41st among Illinois rising seniors and 93rd nationally among quarterbacks in the 247Sports composite rankings.

“My process was slow,” the 6-2, 195-pounder said. “I didn’t get these [major] offers like other kids did. My goal was to stay patient.”

Gumino is coming off a stellar season for himself and his team. Hersey finished 10-1 for the second straight year and lost to the eventual Class 7A runner-up in the second round for the second consecutive season, falling 24-21 to Downers Grove North.

“We’re trying to get past the second round [this fall],” Gumino said. “We have that second-round curse, some might say.”

There was nothing cursed about Gumino’s numbers, though. He passed for 2,488 yards and 35 touchdowns, completing 72% of his passes with a 142.8 quarterback rating.

North Carolina-bound tight end Logan Farrell is back as a prime target, though top receiver Carson Grove has left for Northwestern.

“They’re getting a great thrower,” Hersey coach Tom Nelson said of UCLA. “That’s what he’s most known for. [But] as an athlete, he’s extremely underrated ... his ability to make plays with his feet, his ability to extend plays.”

Nelson, a former NFL safety, said Hersey’s offensive scheme will give Gumino a leg up in the transition to major-college football.

“I think a lot of coaches are attracted to Colton because we run a pro-style system,” Nelson said.

But also look for Gumino to be more of a dual-threat quarterback after rushing for five touchdowns last season.

“It’ll be exciting for me to run [more] this year,” he said.

More Big Ten recruits

UCLA wasn’t the only Big Ten school to land some top local talent in the class of 2025 recently. Also among those committing:

  • Palatine defensive lineman Jaylen Williams, a consensus four-star prospect ranked No. 6 in Illinois, to Michigan;
  • Marist defensive lineman Brad Fitzgibbon, ranked 23rd in Illinois, to Iowa
  • Loyola linebacker Donovan Robinson, rated No. 37 in the state, to Washington;
  • Hoffman Estates linebacker Nathan Cleveland, No. 38 in Illinois, to Minnesota.
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