Iowa opens sprint to Signing Day with commit from legacy WR

Chris Cuellar,

The rally Iowa’s 2017 recruiting class needs began with a 1980s name on Tuesday afternoon.

Henry Marchese from Lincolnshire, Ill., son of former Hawkeye walk-on John Marchese, became the team’s 15th scholarship commitment from the current high school senior class ahead of National Signing Day on Feb. 1.

The three-star wide receiver announced his verbal via Twitter. Marchese chose Iowa over offers that included Army, Bowling Green and Central Michigan.

“I’m excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Iowa,” Marchese wrote.


Marchese is Iowa’s first commit since two-star receiver Max Cooper pledged last month, and the second on the board since the 2016 college football season started.

MORE RECRUITING:Class of 2017 could be state of Iowa's best ever

The Hawkeyes are aiming to finish their 2017 class with 21 to 23 commitments, meaning the 6-foot-3, 190-pound legacy is likely just the start of a late-January rush.

Marchese finished his senior season at Stevenson High School with 63 catches for 1,052 yards and 16 touchdowns in games. He had originally planned to visit Illinois this weekend, but once Iowa offered, he changed his schedule and has committed before making an official visit.

John Marchese joined the Hawkeyes in 1982 and lettered as a fullback in the 1985-86 Rose Bowl season.

Henry’s older brother Joe just finished his career as an offensive lineman at Maryland.

The Iowa commit is now the third receiver in Iowa’s 2017 class, behind Mississippi native Brandon Smith and the aforementioned Cooper.

“Projects well as an outside receiver who will get bigger and stronger and be an excellent red zone option as well,” a recruiting evaluation of Marchese reads, “but do not sleep on his ability with the ball in his hands, either.” 

Iowa finished 118th out of 128 teams in FBS last season in passing yards per game. The passing game will be led by a first-year quarterback, with sophomore-to-be Nathan Stanley currently atop the depth chart.

CHAD LEISTIKOW:Hawkeyes' 2018 recruiting efforts in full swing, too