It was a reunion, of sorts, when Marco Lainez visited Iowa this past weekend. The four-star quarterback felt at home around people he knew.
The 2023 Princeton (NJ) Hun School signal caller caught up with Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras. They worked out together this summer with quarterback coach Tony Racioppi, who also was in Iowa City. Former Iowa and current Minnesota Viking quarterback Nate Stanley, who Raccioppi has coached, was in town, too.
“Being there with those guys and spending time with them was great,” Lainez told HF. “I was able to ask a lot of questions about their experiences.”
Lainez (6-3, 225) camped at Iowa during the summer after being offered a scholarship in February. This time he soaked up the game-day atmosphere and connected with current student-athletes.
“The fact coach (Kirk Ferentz) looks to develop his players and his team stood out to me. I liked how all the players I spoke to talked about the family atmosphere. And everyone just wants to win. No one is caught up in hype BS or their own individual success. It’s all about the team,” Lainez said.
He spent a lot of time with director of recruiting, Tyler Barnes. He also talked with head coach Kirk Ferentz, offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz and quarterback coach Ken O’Keefe.
During the game against Illinois, which Iowa won, 33-23, Lainez focused on Hawkeye quarterback Alex Padilla and the offensive scheme.
“Our offense at Hun and the things (Hun) coach (Todd) Smith and coach Racioppi are teaching seem to fit what Iowa does on O. It’s similar,” he said.
Hun School playing on Saturdays in the fall prevented Lainez from visiting college game days. He’s expected to be at Michigan State this weekend for its game against Penn State.
“I’m glad I was able to do camps last summer at most of the schools that offered me. I’ve been getting to know those coaches as much as possible this fall. I may be able to get to a couple more schools soon even though there won’t be any games on campus,” he said.
The Spartans, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland, Pitt and West Virginia are the other Power 5 programs that have reportedly offered Lainez scholarships.
Despite the 15-month, COVID-related recruiting dead period that lasted until June and visiting conflicts with his games this fall, Lainez feels he’s far along in the process.
“I think I might wrap this up soon,” he said.
He could be back at Iowa before a decision.
“I’m not sure. Maybe for an official visit,” he said.
Lainez completed 93 of 116 passes (80.2 percent) for 1,761 yards and 21 touchdowns against just two interceptions this season for a 9-0 squad. The junior rushed 41 times for 451 yards and two scores.