Creighton Prep senior Rocco Marcelino has scholarship offers, a lot of scholarship offers to play football at the Division I level.
June 1, 2022 Marcelino held three offers, Air Force, Cornell and Dartmouth. June 3, 2022 he participated in the Lindenwood Mega Camp, a day Marcelino and his family will likely never forget.
“That was a crazy experience for me,” the 6-foot-5, 250-pound offensive tackle said. “I performed really well and at the end of the camp I had a lot of coaches talking to me.”
Group of Five school Kent State, FCS schools North Dakota, Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, Austin Peay, Illinois State, Lindenwood and Northern Iowa didn’t let Marcelino leave St. Charles without offering. Ivy League schools Penn and Princeton joined the fray a little more than a week later. June 16, Minnesota told him they would like him to be a preferred walk-on for the Gophers. His most recent offer came from FCS school University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN).
Even though all of the phone calls, text and direct messages Marcelino has found time to be with his Jr. Jay teammates for offseason camp. He has also traveled the camp circuit this spring and summer. He recently was on the campus of Vanderbilt, Stanford, Kansas, Kansas State, Minnesota and took an unofficial visit to Air Force.
A quick break for the 4th on July holiday weekend and he’s right back on the road with his next set of visits.
“Next week (July 7-9) I am going to Princeton and Penn,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing those campuses and what the schools have to offer both academically and the football side of things.”
Princeton may have an ace in the whole. Former Prep wide receiver Mason Armstead will be a sophomore next season for the Tigers.
“He (Armstead) talked to me a little bit about it,” Marcelino said. “He answered some questions and I think I would really like it up there from what I have heard. It is a really cool opportunity.”
The recruiting attention is fairly new for Marcelino even though he played early in his career at Prep he didn’t believe he could play at the Division I level until last summer.
“Last year at the Nebraska pipeline camp was when my eyes first opened to thinking maybe I can pursue this,” he said. “That is the first time I talked to college coaches and I told myself I can do this and I can see myself doing it.”
Like his teammate and NU commit Sam Sledge, Marcelino got varsity reps early in his high school career. This year, his senior season, he’s hoping the experience and comfortability with his teammates will pay dividends.
“Playing early helped us a lot, we know each other’s strengths and how to play off of each other,” he said. “We are really close and really good as a unit.”
The experience and gaining 10-pounds in the offseason has helped him grow into a next level athlete.
“I have been focusing on getting more athletic and growing into my body,” he said of his offseason training. “I feel like I have been more in sync with my body and that has made me a better player.”
A college choice is likely going to come in the next few weeks so he can focus on getting the most out of his senior season.
“I want to make a decision before the season. I am down to three schools right now, Air Force, Princeton and Penn,” he said. “After all of these camps I am on the fringe with a lot of power fives and they said they want to see my senior film. It is an ongoing process with them.”