Iowa quarterback coach Ken O'Keefe identified high school signal caller Marco Lainez III back in February. The Hawkeyes offered him his first Power 5 scholarship back then.
The relationship has grown from there. The Princeton (NJ) Hun School junior visited Iowa during the summer.
"Coach (O'Keefe) is great," Lainez III told HN. "He’s really down to earth and cares about my development. We talked a lot before football season. Once the season started, we kept in touch a little; checking in on me. Now it’s picked back up a lot."
Lainez III (6-2, 218) hasn't been able to attend an Iowa game this fall because of conflicts with his schedule.
"I’m planning to go up there on November 20th. It’s the first date I have open because my games are on Saturdays," he said.
The Hawkeyes play host to Illinois on Senior Day when he'll be in town. He's looking forward to experiencing a game day in Iowa City after seeing it during the offseason.
"I loved the college town. Everyone is all in on the Hawks. The stadium was awesome. I really enjoyed being in it and looking up at the hospital windows. I can see why it’s important to do well when the Hawks play at home; doing it for the kids," he said.
Lainez III works out at TEST Football Academy in New Jersey. He's tutored by quarterback coach Tony Racioppi, who has worked with former Iowa signal call Nate Stanley and current Hawkeye starter Spencer Petras.
"I think their offense fits me well. We do a lot of under-center, and they do as well. I’ve trained with Spencer when he comes down to Jersey to work with coach Razz, and I like everything I hear about it," Lainez III said.
He's looking forward to getting a better idea what Iowa has to offer academically on his next visit.
"I’m undecided (on a major) right now, but I’m interested in Communications and Sports Management," he said.
He's visited Illinois and Michigan State, both of whom have offered scholarships. He also reported opportunities from Pittsburgh, West Virginia and others. Penn State, Rutgers and Wisconsin were among the programs showing interest.
"(Iowa is) one of my top schools," he said.
Rivals ranks Lainez III as a four-star prospect. The service sees him as the 10th best pro-style quarterback nationally in the 2023 class and the No. 218 overall player in the cycle.
Through seven games this season, Lainez III has completed 78.4 percent of his passes for 1,349 yards and 16 touchdowns against just two interceptions. He's rushed 32 times for 338 yards and two scores.
You can watch his midseason highlights HERE.