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4-star player Marcello Vitti reacts to the offer from the Iowa football team
4-star player Marcello Vitti reacts to the offer from the Iowa football team

Marcello Vitti considered the Iowa scholarship he received Thursday to be special. He had heard of offers from other strong Power 4 programs, but the Hawkeye opportunity had a different meaning.

“Iowa is very selective about who they make offers to,” he told HN. “The fact that the offer came from head coach (Kirk Ferentz) and coach (Phil) Parker means a lot to me.”

Vitti (6-0, 190) was visiting Iowa City on Thursday when he learned of the offer. The versatile defensive back from Michigan, who will join the team in 2026, has followed the Hawkeyes’ success story with Parker as his position coach and as defensive coordinator.

“Coach Parker is a defensive legend. He has developed dozens of DBs for the NFL and led some of the best defenses over the years. For him to identify me as someone who meets his standards means a lot to me,” Vitti said.

“I have put a lot of work into my technique and preparation over the last two years to go beyond my natural speed and athleticism, so his offer is a validation of my hard work.”

Iowa made sure Vitti felt naturally comfortable during his stay.

“I appreciate their genuine and sincere approach. There was nothing pushy. Everyone was authentic and down-to-earth. I really appreciated the direct one-on-one conversations,” he said.

Parker and Ferentz told Vitti why they thought he would be a good fit for Hawkeye.

“Iowa likes my versatility on defense and the fact that I can play nickel, safety or corner. They like my speed, athleticism and physicality. They see me as a bigger and stronger Geno Stone,” he said.

Stone played strong safety for Iowa and spent the last four seasons in the NFL.

Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Wisconsin and others have also reportedly offered scholarships to the Divine Child junior from Dearborn (MI).

Chances are good that Vitti will receive more offers, and the schools already involved will make his recruitment a competitive proposition.

With the Hawkeyes’ entry on Thursday, they are well positioned.

“I want to attend a home game to better understand the game experience and the energy and culture of Iowa. I also want to deepen my relationship with coach Parker. My parents really like him. His defense’s track record and data is clear,” he said.

His natural ability, talent and positional flexibility are evident when watching Vitti’s sophomore highlight video. He could fit in many positions in the Iowa secondary.

Prep Redzone ranks Vitti as Michigan’s No. 3 prospect for 2026. The 247Sports composite sees him as a four-star recruit, the state’s fifth-best player for his class and the No. 261 student-athlete in the national cycle.

By Liam