Score one for Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis and his Texas connections.
When the former University of Texas OC was hired at Iowa in last February, he immediately heard from around 20 Texas prep coaches interested in his new ties.
That appears to have helped the Hawkeyes land Corsicana (Texas) Mildred quarterback Nic Shimonek, who committed to the Hawkeyes last May. According to Rivals.com, Shimonek (6-4, 205) didn’t have any FBS offers but did have interest from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and SMU. Rivals also listed Davis as Iowa’s primary recruiter for Shimonek.
The Corsicana Daily Sun reported that Shimonek did have an offer from Lamar, an FCS school.
As a junior, Shimonek completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 2,939 yards, 37 TDs and just three intereceptions, one of which came in “Hail Mary” mode at the end of a game. Mildred finished with a 13-1 record last season.
As a senior, Shimonek completed 176 of 279 pass attempts (63.1 percent) for 2,718 yards and 35 touchdowns with 6 interceptions. He also had 811 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns on the ground in leading Mildred to a 13-2 record and an appearance in the Class 2A Division II state championship game at Cowboys Stadium.
Davis called Shimonek’s coach in May and said Iowa was ready to offer. Shimonek, who has family ties in Iowa, didn’t mess around and pulled the trigger without a visit.
“Iowa has been showing a lot of interest as far as mail and all of that good stuff and then today, when I was on my way to school, I got the news that they had called my head coach and told him they were going to offer,” Shimonek told HawkeyeReport.com. “Obviously I was super excited, so I called coach Davis as soon as I could and verbally accepted.”
Shimonek, who started for Mildred as a sophomore and also started several games as a freshman, is considered as a “pro-style” quarterback, which fits his 6-4, 205-pound frame. Since Iowa started showing serious interest, Shimonek started research on the Hawkeyes and likes Davis’ offense.
“Coach Davis is a real good guy and a good coach, and obviously he’s got a good track record,” Shimonek told HR.com. “Personally, I really like the pro-style offense that they run and the fact they are balanced offensively. Plus they’ve always got those 300-pound linemen. I’m definitely not going to complain about that.”
Shimonek has family in the Des Moines area and his mom, Tresa, also is from Iowa.
Simonek will be one of four QBs on Iowa’s roster next fall. Jake Ruddock will be a sophomore along with Cody Sokol, who’ll be a junior in ’13 if he redshirts this season (that’s the plan) and C.J. Beathard will be a redshirt freshman.
“I’m just super excited,” Shimonek said. “I wish I could start now actually. I’ve got another year of high school left, but I can’t wait to get up there. I don’t think it’s really dawned on me yet just how big this really is, but as soon as it does, it’s going to be a great feeling.”
Scouting snippet (from ESPN.com)
The Positive: This is a player that may have slipped under the radar as a late-blooming, crisp pocket passer with good height and the frame to mature and develop bulk/strength for the next level. Shimonek’s ability to quickly and smoothly get the ball out is what makes him most attractive. He is a fundamentally sound passer with his delivery mechanics. Has a smooth stroke. Carries the ball tight to his chest, but not tense. He possesses a live arm and has proven he can make all the necessary throws at the next level when he is balanced and set from his position in the pocket. He is a competitor and very productive as a pocket passer who can make plays on the move. Plays in a version of the spread and works primarily out of the shotgun. He is balanced within the pocket and does an excellent job surveying the field. He has a confidence about him. Is calm and cool.
The Pause: He can run and shows adequate speed for the position, but he is clearly a passer first. Shimonek clearly has his best football ahead of him. He at times does not always set his feet and will throw off his back foot too often, but his deficiencies are technical in nature and coachable. Stature and strength are only going to get better. He has BCS tools that are still developing. Good player.
What Iowa said . . .
Recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson: “He was a guy Greg [OC Greg Davis] has personally seen throw a bunch of times. Greg feels so strongly about him and has evaluated him so thoroughly, he was really the quarterback Greg wanted and we were able to get him. He’s a good athlete. Does a lot of things for his team. Plays basketball. We’re excited about him.” Fun to watch. “His team lost three linemen in the first couple of games. It went from looking like they were going to have no team at all with the amount of injuries they suffered in the first couple of games to him leading that team.”
What Rivals.com said . . .
As a pitcher and shortstop, Shimonek has been previously named on the 2A all-utility and all-shortstop teams. In basketball, perhaps his best sport, the 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds a game last season, and has earned District MVP honors the last two years in a row. Multiple Division-IA schools have shown interest for Shimonek to play hoops at their program.
Mildred coach Patrick Harvell: ”Well, first of all, they’re just getting an awesome kid. I mean this is a kid of great character, integrity, and I can’t say enough about him as a person. He’s the kind of young man that you want your own son to grow up and be like. As far as a football player, he’s got a very strong arm. He’s a pocket passer with a very strong arm and he’s accurate with the ball. He takes care of the ball and understands the ball is the most important thing in the game. That’s pretty evident by the fact that he had 37 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He takes care of the ball during the game. To me, the best thing about him is he’s a great leader. He’s been our starting quarterback here at Mildred High School since he was a freshman and we’ve been building up to the type of year we had this year. We were 13-2 and a state semifinalist in Class 2A and a lot of that was due to Nic’s progression as a quarterback from his freshman year to his junior year.
What I think (FWIW, obviously) . . .
Shimonek is a 6-4, long and lean. You may have heard of the pistol offense. It’s what’s made Colin Kaepernick, RGIII and, to a lesser extent, Russell Wilson the flavor of the day in the NFL. Iowa wants some mobility out of its QB, but will the Hawkeyes ever get to a place where they need the Colin RGIII Wilson at QB? Probably not. I was able to see Shimonek’s high school team play in the state finals. Mildred was outgunned, but you could see the strong arm and toughness that drew Iowa/Davis to Shimonek.