LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek accepted Thursday an invitation to play in the prestigious East-West Shrine Game, which will be held Jan. 20 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. CT with television coverage provided on NFL Network.
Shimonek, who is the first Tech senior to accept a postseason game invitation so far this season, will be the first Red Raider to play in the East-West Shrine Game since Seth Doege and current Los Angeles Rams standout Cody Davis took part in the event following the 2012 season.
The East-West Shrine Game is among the top postseason events each year for college seniors aspiring to join the NFL ranks. Last year's game alone featured 100 players who signed with a professional team, 70 of which were on final NFL rosters.
Shimonek has ranked among the nation's elite quarterbacks this season as he has completed an impressive 68.2 percent of his passes for 3,547 yards and 30 touchdowns. He ranks fifth nationally in completion percentage and then seventh overall in passing yards for a Tech offense that once again is one of the top passing teams in the country.
Possibly the highlight of his season came in Tech's come-from-behind victory over Texas just a week ago as Shimonek found fellow senior Cameron Batson for the go-ahead touchdown with just under two minutes to play. The 27-23 victory clinched bowl eligibility for the Red Raiders, who have now topped the Longhorns in back-to-back trips to Austin for the first time in program history.
Shimonek will play in his final game as a Red Raider in just a few weeks when the Red Raiders make their 38th bowl appearance in school history. Bowl selections will be announced Sunday afternoon following the final unveiling of the College Football Playoff rankings.