Building Bond

Nic Shimonek attended his first Iowa game on Saturday. The Class of 2013 Hawkeye verbal commitment used the trip as an opportunity to bond with a future receiver. The Texan already had connected with another potential pass catcher at Iowa.

Quarterback Nic Shimonek believes that the relationship between he and his receivers is an important one. That's why the Iowa verbal commitment isn't wasting time getting to know his future pass catchers with the Hawkeyes.

Shimonek bonded with fellow Iowa Class of 2013 member Matt Vandeberg, a WR from South Dakota, this past weekend. They were visiting the school for the Iowa State game.

"I got to know him and begin a relationship," Shimonek said. "We were all just trying to get to know one another."

Shimonek already had been communicating with another wideout in his class - Derrick Willies (Rock Island, IL).

"Sometimes it's not even about football," Shimonek said. "The first time I talked to him, it was on Facebook. We talked about the weather. He's in Iowa. I'm in Texas. It's different. It's small talk, getting to know each other and building a relationship."

Shimonek visited Iowa during the summer. Saturday the Texan watched his first home Hawkeye game in person.

"I had heard that the fan support was really next to none," the 6-foot-4, 190-pound Shimonek said. "I've been to (a Texas) A&M game and I saw their fan support. It was just like that A&M game. The crowd was going nuts. The student section was amazing."

Iowa dropped a tough 9-6 decision to the rival Cyclones. During it, Shimonek pictured himself running the Hawkeye offense.

"There were sometimes where (James) Vandenberg would throw a pass that I would think to myself, "why did he just throw that?"" he said. "But I guarantee you when I play people say why did I just throw that. I'm not trying to rag on him. He's not perfect. I'm going to make mistakes. I'm not perfect."

Shimonek said that he'll have to adjust to the Iowa attack.

"My high school team, we run no-huddle," he said. "We run something similar to Oregon or Oklahoma State. We go really fast and try to score a lot of points. Iowa is a traditional ground-and-pound (offense). Throw it whenever it's necessary but not get too crazy with it; just do what it takes to win."

Shimonek does believe the Hawkeye offense is a work in progress with new coordinator Greg Davis.

"At one point, (the Hawkeyes) ran a no-huddle, a two-minute offense, and they got two or three first downs.," Shimonek said. "Then they went back to the traditional and they ended up having to punt. Coach Davis is new there and he has to work into it. I don't know exactly what he's planning on doing in the future. I do know that once they get going that they do have the skill guys to be able to do that."

Davis, the long-time coordinator at Texas, led the recruitment of Shimonek.

"I really like Coach Davis," he said. "He's obviously had tremendous success with Vince Young, Colt McCoy and those guys. I really think we have a good relationship.

Shimonek said his Iowa commitment has allowed him to focus on getting better as a player.

"There's not as much pressure to play good so I can get an offer," he said. "It's been a relief. I can just play.

"Before the games I sometimes think that people will be watching me because they know I'm going to the Big Ten and Iowa. But I'm arguably playing the most recognizable position on the field, so 90 percent of the people are watching me anyway. I feel a little pressure but I try to block it out."


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