Patrick Mahomes is headed to the NFL, which means there will be a quarterback competition starting in spring 2017. This is the first time since spring 2015 that there will be uncertainty at that position. That year it came down to Mahomes or Davis Webb. Mahomes won the job in the summer of 2015 and never looked back. Now it's between a former Iowa Hawkeye who has been a backup the past two years and a JUCO transfer.
I am of course referring to Nic Shimonek and McLane Carter. Although Jett Duffey is still in the picture, his suspension from Texas Tech has hurt his chances to compete for the starting job this year in my opinion. Xavier Martin will be a true freshman enrolling early in the spring, but I feel he needs plenty of development before being thrown into the fire. While Carter showed promise at Tyler J.C., this will be his first year in Texas Tech's Air Raid system. All of these signs point to Shimonek being the starting quarterback next season.
So what can Red Raider fans expect from this kid? Well Shimonek got his chance to show what he is capable of on a Thursday night against the Kansas Jayhawks last season. After Mahomes left the game due to a shoulder injury, Shimonek led the Red Raiders to victory. He went 15/21 for 271 yards and threw four touchdowns as Tech routed Kansas 55-19.
I know this was a small sample, but this performance showed that Shimonek can run this offense.
Tech is also returning a good number of their starters at the skill positions going into 2017. Players like Keke Coutee, Jonathan Giles, Dylan Cantrell, Justin Stockton and Da'Leon Ward are all expected to be big contributors for this Air Raid offense next year. Shimonek would be walking into an already set team on offense with a lot of the same talent that made it one of the best in 2016 statistically.
He also has Kliff Kingsbury as his head coach. If there are two things I believe Kingsbury knows about the most, it's the Air Raid offense and how to develop quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes' success was based on his great skills, but he also had a quarterback guru as head coach who helped turn him into the NFL prospect we see today.
Shimonek has now been at Texas Tech since 2014, after transferring from Iowa, and will be entering his third season with Texas Tech. Given that he has now had two full seasons in Kingsbury's system and is the most experienced quarterback on the roster, I strongly believe Nic Shimonek will be running out onto the field as the starter against Eastern Washington on September 2nd!