Iowa signed 22 football players as part of its 2017 class. As part of the ongoing Next Generation series, Land of 10 Iowa reporters Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse take a look at the recruiting process for a member of the class. Up today is 3-star Stevenson (Ill.) High School wide receiver Henry Marchese.
Q: You committed in January. Why did you pick Iowa?
A: Iowa is just a special place. The fan base there is amazing. Coach [Kirk] Ferentz and the rest of the staff is great. It’s a really family atmosphere there. Every player is treated the same. It’s a consistent program under coach Ferentz and also the school. A Big Ten education, there is nothing better. Also, my dad [John Marchese] played there.
Q: You bleed black and gold with your family connection, don’t you?
A: I’ve grown up into it. We are all Iowa fans, since we were young. Going to games since I was younger. I’ve had that atmosphere. I’ve been there. I’ve seen everything, and seeing it from when I was younger to now it’s the same, the same program, the same pillars for the program. It’s rising now. It’s building up and now we are there. It’s great to see how it’s transitioned from when I was young, and the black and gold since I was born, going to Iowa City, I’ve been bleeding it.
Q: How did your recruiting with Iowa unfold?
A: I would say the winter going into my junior year. That is when I really started talking to them and we talked like every week. They do their process on kids. They go through everything. They make sure they get the best kid, the best person.
Recruiting is hectic. It’s a game and it’s stressful at times, but you always have to have faith and know that it is going to work out, no matter where you go, if you go to your dream school or somewhere else. You know it’s going to work out and you are playing the sport that you love.
Q: Iowa offered you late. When did you think it might happen?
A: [Linebackers coach Seth] Wallace and I kept in contact, basically daily. He was really jumping on the table for me. Just for them being interested in me and talking daily and coming to see me. I knew I had a shot, and speaking with Coach Ferentz they were really close by then. They wanted the right time to do it. It turned out to be in January and it was a good deal.
Q: What was the moment like when you committed to your dream school?
A: Definitely the biggest relief of my life so far because of all the stressful nights, the days just going by and not being committed and all the outside pressure and people saying, ‘When are you going to commit? What are you thinking?’ All the pressure and expectations just go away. I have a place and it was the biggest relief because I felt, OK, I have a place. I’m committed, and recruiting, the entire stressful process, is over.
Q: Who else recruited you?
A: I had some MAC offer and I was also talking with a lot of Big Ten schools. I was talking with Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Penn State and also Michigan State. A bunch of other schools, ACC’s also.
Being patient with the recruiting process, I also wanted to get it over with. Iowa shot their shot. They hit me hard with it and that is just the place for me. That is why I ended it when I got Iowa.