The Morning Stake: January 17th


24/7 Sports’ Travis Haney writes abut five quarterbacks who are expected to break out in 2017 and Nic Shimonek is listed second. There are two interesting things here: 1) the coaches implored Patrick Mahomes to stay; and 2) that the staff felt comfortable with Shimonek moving forward:

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The staff labored to convince Patrick Mahomes to return for another season — but one Tech coach told 247Sports in early December that the Red Raiders felt comfortable moving forward with Shimonek if Mahomes opted for the draft.

That statement will now be put to the test in what is a critical year for Kliff Kingsbury’s future at the school.

The 6-foot-3 senior, an Iowa transfer, did play some last season in relief of Mahomes. And his production suggested there will not be much of a dropoff from Mahomes’ prodigious totals: Shimonek completed 38 of 58 passes (66 percent) for 464 yards, with six touchdowns and no interceptions.

He’ll also have the bulk of the team’s skill players returning. How much the Tech defense improves will greatly shape Kingsbury’s fate; the offense under Shimonek should not look any different than the group that clicked in 2016.

I’ll admit that I’m confident that Shimonek is going to get things done offensively and I really don’t have a lot of data to back me up, but I think Shimonek’s got this. As to the other item, which is that the staff tried to convince Mahomes to stay. That’s not surprising to me, I don’t think, but maybe they didn’t think he was really ready like the rest of us.

It appears that another walk-on will be joining Texas Tech, Luke Gonsioroski from Montana:

Gonsioroski battled cancer from March or April through October, in fact, they pulled an 8 pound cancer from his mid-section and I find that amazing. Gonsioroski said that he visited this weekend and the staff made him feel wanted:

“It’s a great opportunity. Couldn’t really say no,” he said on Monday. “It made me feel so wanted, which is how you want to feel. Kind of rolling out the red carpet.”

Coaches on the road.

Texas Tech offered Cerritos College (a California JUCO) safety Elijah Walker, a 3-star safety that I think was previously committed to Kansas State, but is now projected to be committed to TCU (crystal ball stuff and the two predictions are TCU writers).

Miscellaneous . . . RRS’s Matt Clare has the class breakdown by the Rivals points if that interests you . . .

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