One in a series of looks at the Iowa football program’s 2017 recruiting class, position by position:
Max Cooper, 6-0, 175, Waukesha, Wis. (Catholic Memorial HS)
Henry Marchese, 6-3, 190, Vernon Hills, Ill. (Stevenson HS)
Brandon Smith, 6-3, 205, Lake Cormorant, Miss. (Lake Cormorant HS)
Ihmir Smith-Marsette, 6-2, 175, Newark, N.J. (Weequahic HS)
MAX COOPER: Helped lead his team to state championship game appearances as a junior and senior, winning a Wisconsin state title last fall … Recorded 50 receptions for 1,024 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior, including four catches for 78 yards and one score in the Division 3 state title game. … Caught 40 passes for 865 yards and 14 touchdowns during his junior season, when he also recorded 93 yards on kickoff returns and 186 yards on punt returns. … Had 15 receptions for 150 yards and three scores as a sophomore, also picking up 129 yards on kick returns and 121 yards on punt returns. … Was a member of a 400-meter relay which won a Wisconsin state title as a junior and qualified for the state meet in the long jump. … Lettered in basketball, baseball, lacrosse and track.
HENRY MARCHESE: A two-time second-team all-state selection for Lincolnshire Stevenson High School. … Was part of an Illinois Class 8A state championship team as a sophomore. … Caught a school single-season record 63 passes for 1,053 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. ... Recorded 303 return yards on punts and kickoffs as a senior. … Caught 59 balls for 981 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season. … Had eight catches for 137 yards and scored three touchdowns as a sophomore. … Lettered in baseball. … Father, John, was a fullback at Iowa who lettered in 1985 as part of a Rose Bowl team.
BRANDON SMITH: A two-time first-team all-state selection in Mississippi, earning Class 5A Region I most valuable offensive player honors as a prep junior and senior at Lake Cormorant. … Holds school records for career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns. … Caught 80 passes for 1,509 yards and 19 touchdowns during his senior season and rushed for a touchdown. … Collected 1,382 receiving yards and scored 15 times on 79 receptions during his junior season. … Recorded 47 receptions for 750 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. … Also competes in track.
IHMIR SMITH-MARSETTE: Was a member of a 2016 state championship team at Weequahic High School, the alma mater of Hawkeye senior running back Akrum Wadley. … Topped 100 receiving yards in four of his final five high school games, leading Weequahic to a North 2 Group 1 title during a 12-0 senior season. … Recorded 18 tackles on defense with two interceptions and one touchdown as a senior. … Caught five passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns as a junior, when he also returned an interception for a touchdown and a punt for a score. … Is a state-qualifying hurdler in track.
Kirk Ferentz on the receivers Iowa signed:
“I’m pleased with the way it came together and Ihmir (Smith-Marsette) was a big part of that, getting him to sign was really big for us, but I like the group as a whole. I think we’ve got two big receivers with Brandon Smith and Henry Marchese, happy about that, and it was important to help our size a little bit. Max Cooper is an extremely productive, successful player, played on a championship team and the guy looks like a football player. I’m not saying he’s (Matt) VandeBerg, but he looks like a player and we’re excited about that.’’
Kirk Ferentz on Ihmir Smith-Marsette, the final player to join the Hawkeyes’ 2017 class:
“Ihmir caught our attention back in December. Frank Verducci Sr. recommended Akrum (Wadley) to us five years ago and he put a seal on this one, too. Coach (Brian) Logan, the high school coach there, is a tremendous guy and we have a great deal of respect for him. They’re a state championship team and he’s a dynamic, exciting player, can play on either side of the ball.’’
Starter: Matt VandeBerg, senior; Jerminic Smith, junior
Back-ups: Devonte Young, sophomore
Devonte Young, sophomore