Nic Shimonek is as tough as they come, ready for battle

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Nic Shimonek
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Nic Shimonek /

Texas Tech has a real opportunity to turn the tide this season, and according to head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Nic Shimonek is ready for battle.

Nic Shimonek is a player who has followed a storied history of former Texas Tech quarterbacks who have waited until their fifth year to flex their talents. With that said, it’s no surprise to hear Kliff Kingsbury discuss the Iowa transfer as a guy who has taken his new job with an intense, CEO mentality.

During the ESPN Car Wash last week, Kingsbury was on the podcastCampus Conversation, where he shed some more light on what kind of player, and person Nic Shimonek is.

The initial question about Shimonek asked why he stayed. “He’s a very determined young man. He loves Texas Tech, he loves the offense, and he feels like he can be very successful in it.” Kingsbury said. “He worked like he was a starter every week; that was kind of his mindset when he was called upon to play last year. He played very well… got a lot of reps with the ones.”

It’s rare for players to stick around and wait for their opportunities to play. For Shimonek, the opportunity to play came a bit early last season, when Pat Mahomes was injured against Kansas. Not only did Shimonek have a monster night, he was able to give Red Raiders confidence going into 2017 when Mahomes announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft.

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“There were a lot of things unique about his situation, but I don’t know when the last time was, that a fifth year senior waited until his senior year to be a starter.” Kingsbury said, when asked about how rare it is to have a player wait it out. “His team mates love him for it, his coaching staff loves him for it,  he’s got a lot of credibility on our team because of it, and the guys are ready to go to battle with him, and that’s exciting to me as a head coach.”

Texas Tech scored on 90 percent of its redzone appearances last season, and scored touchdowns on 46 of 63 trips inside the redzone. With a redzone offense that ranked No. 15 in the nation last season, Shimonek will have to play smart, consistent football.

“He’s a really good thrower; loves the game; very cerebral; studies like crazy, and [he’s] gonna play at a very high level.” Said Kingsbury, confirming Shimonek is up to task. “He’s got a great supporting cast, and you want to see him succeed because of all the work he’s put in, and the patience, and determination he’s shown.”

When asked to describe Shimonek’s personality, Kingsbury had some colorful words. “[He’s] very tough. One of those guys who will fight anyone on the team; doesn’t matter what they are. When he was a scout team quarterback, he would get into fights with the defense, so we’d have to tell him, ‘Nic, you can’t punch guys with their helmet on’ you know, that type of mentality. He wanted to cover kicks… that’s just who he is.”

Nic Shimonek has some big shoes to fill in replacing Patrick Mahomes, but if he plays with a controlled toughness, that, combined with his high football IQ, could turn out to be a very productive season for the Red Raiders’ offense.