It's not a guarantee that Nic Shimonek is the week one starter for Texas Tech, but it seems the most likely option and he's got the credentials. He was the back-up last season after coming to Texas Tech from Iowa in 2015. Shimonek came into the Kansas game after Patrick Mahomes was injured to throw for four touchdowns.

Shimonek commented on how he's played behind four NFL quarterbacks, so it's been kind of an unlucky career for him. Lots of guys at Texas Tech waited behind QBs before getting their time to shine.

The biggest one that comes to mind is B.J. Symons, who waited behind Kliff Kinsgbury before having a monster season in 2003. Offensive coordinator Eric Morris said that Shimonek even plays like the ex-Red Raider gunslinger.

Now, listening to Nic Shimonek doesn't make you think, 'What an exciting guy.' His off-field persona is subdued, or at least his persona in front of the media is. But when you see him on the field, he's a completely different person. I asked him what his leadership style was, half-expecting a lead-by-example answer. What I got instead was much more inspiring. "I'm very in-your-face," Shimonek said in his slow and calculated voice. "That's how I like to be coached."

Shimonek finished his leadership clinic with: "I'm just doing whatever I can do to go 1-0 every week."

I asked Shimonek about a dark horse candidate that might have a big season, and he gave me Derrick Willies. Shimonek and Willies were roommates at Iowa before both transferred to Texas Tech. They also knew each other before Iowa, so there's some history there that might provide some special chemistry. "He got most improved in the spring," Shimonek said about Willies. "He puts in ton of time and work into his craft."

"This is the most unified, this is the most camaraderie we've had as a team since I've been here," Shimonek said, continuing: "On Saturdays, it's going to show. If I trust him and he trusts me, that goes a long way." Shimonek wasn't done, saying he was incredibly confident about this season. "Out of 10, I'd probably say at least a 15."


 

2017 Texas Tech Media Day Interviews