The Iowa Hawkeyes had a successful 2021 season, finishing with 10 regular season wins and a Big Ten West Division title. Despite the overall team success, the Hawkeye offense struggled frequently.
Looking to the future, Hawkeye fans are looking for an offensive spark to pair with already special defense and special teams units. On XXXX, Iowa fans may have found just the spark they’ve been looking for as class of 2023 quarterback Marco Lainez III announced his commitment to the Hawkeyes.
Lainez is a dynamic playmaker who can get it done with both his arm and his legs. While not a true dual threat, Lainez is mobile in the mold of current Iowa QB Alex Padilla. He shows great ability to climb the pocket, evade pressure and take off when under pressure. As a senior at The Hun School in New Jersey, Lainez ran for 512 yards and 3 TDs.
Through the air, Lainez completed 95 of 117 passes for an incredible 81% completion percentage as The Hun School went 9-0 to win the Mid-Atlantic Prep League. He threw for 1,735 yards and 21 touchdowns with only 2 interceptions as a junior.
On film, there’s a lot to like. Beyond the noted mobility, Lainez has plenty of arm strength. His high school offense features good variety, including both shotgun and snaps under center. The Hun School regularly uses play action and rolls Lainez out of the pocket where he shows good ability to throw on the run or re-set his feet and come back to the middle of the field through a progression. He has a good frame for the position at 6’3” and 225 pounds. That puts him a bit smaller than either Spencer Petras or Nate Stanley, but bigger than Padilla.
The Petras and Stanley comp is an interesting one as Lainez has been training with the same quarterback coach used by both the current and former Iowa QB. Tony Raccioppi has not only built a relationship with the Iowa coaching staff via the two quarterbacks to come through the program, but has put together an impressive list of current and former clients. That list includes Pitt’s Heisman hopeful Kenny Pickett, who Lainez has modeled his game after.
Over the last year, Lainez has seen his recruitment really take off. His impressive talents earned him an invite to the Elite 11 camp, as well as camp MVP honors at Rivals camp last spring. In addition to being rated as a 4-star by both Rivals and 247 Sports, Lainez earned offers from the likes of Pitt, Michigan State, Maryland, West Virginia, Illinois, Penn, Princeton and others.
So what set Iowa apart from the rest? Here’s what Lainez told HawkeyeReport:
“I just love everything about the program. Going out there and meeting Coach O’Keefe and Coach Ferentz - both Ferentzes - and talking with Spencer (Petras) and talking with Nate (Stanley) it seems like a perfect fit for me. With the culture there, it’s a really family oriented culture and they just want to develop guys into the best athletes and men that they can be.”
With his commitment, Lainez becomes Iowa’s third commitment in the class of 2023. He joins a pair of Iowans with 3-star Iowa City linebacker Ben Kueter and 3-star Norwalk defensive tackle Maddox Borcherding-Johnson already on board. The class is currently ranked inside the top-20 nationally. The Hawkeyes are expected to take 18-20 commitments in the class before things are all wrapped up.
Welcome aboard Marco Lainez III!