Texas Tech’s Nic Shimonek is now in the spotlight after the early departure of Patrick Mahomes to the NFL.
He’ll take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday in his first Power 5 game as Texas Tech’s starting quarterback.
Here are 5 things fans need to know about the new Red Raider gunslinger.
1. Nic Shimonek is incredibly consistent
So far, Nic Shimonek has only played significant minutes in two games for Texas Tech, but his efficiency is incredible. In his first game for Texas Tech he completed a staggering 86.7 percent of his passes, and gained 384 yards while throwing three touchdowns. Granted, that was against Eastern Washington, but the efficiency is something you can’t deny. If Shimonek can stay away from crucial errors, he might end up being one of the top passers in the Big 12, like many Red Raider quarterbacks before him.
2. Nic Shimonek restores furniture in his spare time
If you saw this collegiate quarterback with tattoos running down his arms, you’d think he spends his spare time at college bars or various other places. Not Shimonek. According to a story by Jake Trotter of ESPN, he had a furniture restoration business in Lubbock to help with the cost of college. His family restored furniture when he was young and he learned the trade from them, and he and his high school sweetheart began restoring furniture in Lubbock. All in all, there are many worse things you can do to make money or spend your spare time on. Shimonek now has a great venture for when he inevitably has to leave football behind, whether that’s before he has an NFL career or after.
3. Nic Shimonek is not a big runner, but he can do it when needed
From Johnny Manziel to Patrick Mahomes, the Kliff Kingsbury offense has always flourished with a dual-threat quarterback. Dual-threat is not how many would describe Shimonek. His first instinct isn’t to run, and sometimes he takes some bad sacks, but Shimonek is definitely not slow. It’s a little bit more difficult to pin down his role as a runner, because Texas Tech doesn’t have a dearth of talent at running back. But if called upon, he can answer the bell. Shimonek operates the Kingsbury offense a little differently than dominant Texas Tech and Kingsbury quarterbacks of the past, but he still does so in a way that puts points on the scoreboard, and that’s about all you can ask of your starting quarterback.
4. Nic Shimonek says he learned humility from Odell Beckham Jr.?
Shimonek enjoys a fairly close relationship with Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants. He admires the way Beckham carries himself no matter what anyone says about him. Shimonek only spent two hours with Beckham, but said he learned a lot about himself during those scant 120 minutes. It shows on the field too, Shimonek is an equal opportunity distributor, making sure that everyone on the field touches the ball and that he went through his reads correctly.
5. Nic Shimonek is following a Texas Tech legend
It’s not easy to follow up a guy like Patrick Mahomes, who was one of the most talented quarterbacks in college football. However, Shimonek can chart his own course if Texas Tech’s defense has improved, and if the Red Raiders offensive line can give him better protection than they gave Mahomes in 2016. The Red Raider offensive line was surprisingly god-awful last year, and it’s still gelling with lots of younger players. It’s not going to be easy, but it is possible to have a successful season in the post-Mahomes era, and Shimonek can help guide Texas Tech to those goals.