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Caring Is Creepy 2013: Have A Seat, Nic Shimonek

The Iowa football recruiting news has slowed down a bit since the whirlwind pace of last month, but it hasn't stopped -- Iowa landed a new commit today, QB Nic Shimonek out of Mildred Independent School (2A) in Corsicana, Texas. The interwebs inform me that Corsicana is a relatively small town (25,000) fifty miles south of Dallas. Unlike several of Iowa's early recruits, Shimonek is less of a known quantity in the creepmaster circles: he's currently unranked by Rivals, Scout, 247Sports, and ESPN. In fact, per Rivals, he didn't have any known offers before committing to Iowa, though he did have "interest" from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and SMU in addition to Iowa. Suck it, June Jones.

While he lacks recruiting hype, Shimonek does have fairly prototypical size for a QB recruit (6-4, 200) and he had very solid numbers as a junior (3000+ yards, 38 TD, 3 INT). (He's also a pretty good baseball player, it seems -- he threw a no-hitter last weekend.) That said, Shimonek's commitment does come as a surprise -- it's rare that Iowa lands a player this early that has so little recruiting hype (they usually get the unranked/no offers guys in January or February) and Shimonek was so far off the radar that he didn't even make the large and impressively comprehensive recruiting "big board" that Hawkeye Report maintains ($).

Of course, it's impossible to overlook the fact that Shimonek is from Texas and Iowa just hired an offensive coordinator from... Texas. Shimonek's recruitment smells like a Greg Davis Special, which I don't mean as a pejorative: I assume this is a kid Davis saw and liked a lot and thought would be a good fit in his offense, recruiting hype (or lack thereof) be damned. And that's fine -- there's plenty of time for the recruiting hype to arrive, for whatever it's worth. I would guess that Shimonek will be a low 3* recruit when he does get ranked and if his senior year production improves on his (already-good) junior year numbers, he could certainly end up with offers from several programs who only have "interest" now.

Iowa's approach under Ferentz has often been to try and get quarterback prospects locked in early (although they've had mixed success with that approach; both Ricky Stanzi and James Vandenberg were relatively late commitments and last year they grabbed two quarterbacks in December and January), so it's not a shock to see them getting one in May. Iowa also rarely signs multiple quarterbacks in the same class (last year was a notable exception, with one of the QB commits being a JUCO transfer and Iowa in dire need of underclassmen at QB after A.J. Derby's decision to transfer and John Wienke's move to punter), so Shimonek is almost certainly the only QB Iowa will look to add in the 2013 class. His addition also restores the QB depth chart to a pretty solid state after its scary appearance last December. As of fall 2013 (Shimonek's first year on campus), Iowa will have a redshirt junior (Cody Sokol, assuming he redshirts this season), a redshirt sophomore (Jake Rudock), a redshirt freshman (C.J. Beathard), and a true freshman (Shimonek). Welcome aboard, Mr. Shimonek.

I like his highlights quite a bit, too. The usual caveats about highlight reels apply (with an added caveat concerning level of competition, since we're talking about 2A football here), but he displays some nice elusiveness in the pocket and makes a few good throws on the move or on rollouts, which is a positive. He appears to have a pretty quick release and seems to throw a very catchable ball. He may need to learn to put a bit more zip on his passes at the next level (some of his balls just seem to... float) and it's difficult to get a read on his arm strength -- there aren't a ton of out routes or deep balls in this highlight reel (there are a lot of short and intermediate routes, though). The few examples of passes over 20-30 yards do look pretty good, though, and he does a nice job of hitting his receivers in stride on several of those plays.