Four Marchese's.. Three Big Ten programs. And now two at Illinois, as Stevenson DB Michael Marchese, who has brothers at Illinois, Iowa, and Maryland, has chosen to continue his football career in Champaign under Lovie Smith.
It runs in the family for Marchese. Turning down other scholarship opportunities, he chose to follow his heart and his gut feeling and pursue a football and academic career at Illinois.
"I just felt it in my gut the coaching staff are full of good guys and coaches. I love the culture there and being a part of the Big Ten," Marchese said.
Marchese was not only confident in the outlook of the program, but also optimistic that one day his hard work and play might be able to earn him a scholarship.
"We're about to win a lot of games. Passing up my other offers were tough," Marchese said, "but I'm confident enough that if I work hard, they will have to give me a scholarship"
As mentioned before, his three brothers are all at three different Big Ten schools, so for the two at other institutions, the brotherly rivalry is brewing up now more than ever.
"Yes, it is definitely a rivalry!," Marchese said. "My oldest brother Joe is at Maryland so I feel bad he's on the other side of the conference but it's nice having Henry at Iowa."
A big selling point for Marchese, and several other athletes who have committed to Illinois, is the opportunity to play for Lovie Smith and a staff full of coaches with extensive pedigrees.
"I love the staff," he said. "They are all good guys, and that's what I look for the most. The strength staff is amazing from what I've heard, too, so I'm excited."