Land of 10 has embarked on a series of “Next Generation” articles, a project that aims to bring our readers greater insight into the class of 2017 signees. Land of 10 Iowa writers Scott Dochterman and Bobby La Gesse are hard at work visiting the Iowa incoming freshman class to show you more than its 40-yard dash times and recruiting rankings. We recently talked with 3-star WR Henry Marchese, but before we bring you the full profile on the Lincolnshire, Ill., star here is a sneak peek at what you can expect.
VERNON HILLS, Ill. — The text messages will fly from Henry Marchese to his brothers Michael and Jim.
Once you play the Hawkeyes there is no mercy.
Was your workout today to prepare for Iowa?
Iowa is going to beat Illinois.
This season, Oct. 7 isn’t just about the Fighting Illini visiting the Hawkeyes. It’s about family bragging rights for the Marchese family, as Henry will be suiting up in the black and gold while Michael and Jimmy will be in the orange and blue.
The game isn’t for seven months, but the trash talk is well underway at the Marchese home.
“I just try to get underneath their skin because honestly that’s how I am in this family,” Henry said. “I’m the instigator.”
This is a Big Ten family. The patriarch, John Marchese, walked on at Iowa and was a member of the 1985 Rose Bowl team. The oldest brother, Joe, just finished his career as a Maryland offensive lineman.
Still, three siblings involved in one game will ratchet up the intensity level for a group used to big games.
“It will be a rivalry for us three for the years to come,” Henry said. “I am really excited for it. They are, too.”
Henry committed to Iowa in January after back-to-back second-team all-state seasons at Stevenson High in Lincolnshire, Ill. He set the program single-season record with 63 receptions, 1,053 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
Michael is walking on as a defensive back to the Fighting Illini. He made 94 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 4 pass breakups, 2 pass breakups and 1 fumble recovery as a senior at Stevenson.
“This will be the first time he is on a different team,” Michael said. “It will be cool. Hopefully Illinois will win every year.”
The twins are close. They shared the same room growing up and even move into the same room when their older brothers come back from college.
“It doesn’t matter if playing Madden or going against each other on offense and defense,” Stevenson football coach Josh Hjorth said. “They love competing against each other, but they are also each other’s biggest supporters.”
Jimmy is a walk-on linebacker, having just completed his redshirt freshman season. He played in 7 games —primarily on special teams — for Illinois in 2016.
While the siblings are excited, the parents are dreading the Illinois-Iowa contest as much as they are looking forward to it.
“That is a game I hope goes quickly and whoever wins it will be a big win for them,” John said.
— Henry Marchese (@HJM_5) January 24, 2017
Julie Marchese is yet to figure out what she’ll wear to the game, but doesn’t think she’ll wear Iowa or Illinois gear.
“I will probably wear a Stevenson shirt,” she said. “It will be hard.”
Both Julie and John repeatedly use that word, “hard,” when talking about October.
“It’s going to be easier for the kids than us,” John said. “It will be interesting to see if they go against each other.”
The boys are already looking forward to it.
“I’ve always wanted to lay him out,” Michael said. “I’ve kind of been waiting for it.”
He’ll likely get his shot in the coming years. Henry did have a word of warning for his brother, however.
“I’ll be glad to come across the middle,” Henry said. “I tell them don’t take a step down on that play-action because I’ll be over the top of you.”
And he’ll be sure to text them about it if it happens.
For the complete Iowa NextGen series, click this link.