Hawkeye Coach Kirk Ferentz confirmed here Tuesday at the Big Ten media days event that Shimonek was leaving the program after one season during which he red shirted. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound quarterback from told Hawkeye Insider that he would be walking on at home-state Texas Tech.
Laron Taylor, a sophomore linebacker, and walk-on kicker Alden Haffar also are leaving the program, according to Ferentz. The coach added that senior Wide Receiver Demond Powell would miss camp after having hernia surgery a few weeks ago. The worse-case scenario would see Powell missing the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Ferentz addressed 2014 signee Markel Smith not qualifying academically, saying they knew it was a possibility during the recruiting process. The St. Louis product is headed to Milford Academy in New York for the upcoming season.
"We knew there was a chance that wouldnt work out. We knew that but that was a decision we made during the recruiting process to follow through," Ferentz said.
Shimonek's exit leaves Iowa with three scholarship quarterbacks this season. Starter Jake Rudock, his back-up, C.J. Beathard, and incoming freshman Tyler Wiegers. Iowa has received verbal commitments from three signal callers (Jack Beneventi, Ryan Boyke, Drew Cook) in the '15 Class.
Ferentz said the plan is to red shirt Wiegers unless his top two quarterbacks were out for any reason. He was very complimentary of Shimonek and understand him wanting to find a better fit.
“It’s a little bit like Cody (Sokol) a year ago. I don’t think it was a selfish thing at all. Nic has just been tremendous. He’s a good quarterback and I think a very good prospect. I think it’s as simple as he looked up and saw two players ahead of him that have been on the field.
“I think he has great respect for those guys, not that it’s a case of him being afraid of competition. But I think he’s probably being realistic and saying I’m going to try and find a faster path to the field.”
Shimonek said it was a tough decision to leave Iowa.
"I loved it there. I love the people involved in the organization, the campus lifestyle, and everything about the University of Iowa. Coach (Chris) Doyle's strength program is second to none in the country, and with the experience they have, Coach (Greg) Davis and Coach Ferentz are among the top in the country in their respected positions. I'll miss everything about Iowa, but with that said, I have to be selfish and do what's best for me," Shimonek said.
Shimonek said his exit is based on being in a system more suited to his style of play.
"It has nothing to do with competition. I'm one of the more competitive people you'll ever meet. From chess to football to rock-paper-scissors, I want to win, Shimonek said.
"The reason I'm leaving, is the offense. For 4 years in high school, I was in the spread. In college football, you only have 5 years maximum to play, so I don't find it logical to spend 3 of those years trying to get comfortable with the system. I'm transferring to Texas Tech, which is more up my alley, so I feel I'll be more comfortable in that system."
Shimonek said he's hoping to earn a scholarship at Tech. Giving up paid schooling at Iowa wasn't something he considered when he began learning the pro-style.
"I didn't think it would be too hard of a transition, but it was very difficult. You only have so many years to play. At a place like Tech, I'll start out being comfortable," he said.