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Iowa Football Recruiting: S John Nestor Signs With Hawkeyes

Phil Parker officially adds another playmaker to his secondary.

Image via @HawkeyeFootball

Much is made about Iowa defensive coordinator Phil Parker and his ability to identify under recruited talent and turn them into superstars. The Phil Parker Special, as they say. That player is typically found once a recruiting cycle and typically doesn’t surface until close to signing day as other coaches have caught on and are eager to tail the Hawkeyes in offering defensive backs.

But lost in the lore of the PP Special is everyone else. Adding one under the radar kid in the secondary each class means a typical Iowa secondary will have 2-3 such players on the roster (plus walk-ons). But the Hawkeyes typically carry 15+ scholarship defensive backs on the roster at any given time. Thus, the vast majority of the success for the Iowa secondary comes not from the Phil Parker Special, but from the bread and butter recruiting wins on talented high school prospects who everyone knew should be solid collegiate players.

That’s where Chicago safety John Nestor falls. He’s not a late bloomer who was identified as a senior, he’s a high quality safety prospect who held multiple offers before committing early in the process last April. Today, Nestor made it official as he signed his national letter of intent to play football at the University of Iowa.

On film, Nestor immediately jumps off the screen. There’s a bit of Sebastian Castro to his highlights where someone appears to be shot out of a cannon as they blur across the screen and explode the ball carrier. Sure enough, that’s Phil’s guy.

Beyond the explosiveness in run support and sure tackling, Nestor has some ball skills. He’s able to use the breaking speed to close and break up passes or step in front for the interception. Nestor finished his senior season at Marist with 52 total tackles, including a pair of tackles for loss and a sack. He also added a forced fumble, 4 interceptions and a pick-six out of the secondary in a 1st Team All-Conference season.

Iowa has four defensive backs set to sign in the early period, including a trio of safeties. Given the now base 4-2-5 alignment for Phil Parker’s defense, which has typically utilized a hybrid S/CB in that CASH spot, the Hawkeyes have been carrying more safeties than historically.

Heading into 2023, Iowa is set to return five current safeties, including starter Quinn Schulte, former starting CASH turned CB Cooper DeJean and now starting CASH Sebastian Castro. Look for Nestor to be an early contributor on special teams before being a candidate for that CASH role in 1-2 years.

Welcome aboard, officially, John Nestor!

John Nestor, S
Ht: 6’1”
Wt: 190 lbs
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois (Marist)
Stars: 247 Sports - 3; Rivals - 3
Commitment Post: John Nestor Commits to Hawkeyes