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Dylan Cantrell & Nic Shimonek Reunite as Chargers Rookies
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It’s the 2013 Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star Game.
Although Shimonek was headed for Iowa and Cantrell to Texas Tech, little did they know that would be the first of many touchdowns between the pair. Just one year later, Shimonek transferred to Texas Tech, where he ended up assuming the starting role as a senior in 2017.
Post-college, Cantrell and Shimonek both declared for the 2018 NFL Draft figuring they’d once again be going their separate ways.
Cantrell was selected in the sixth round by the Chargers.
A little while later, Cantrell’s phone buzzed.
Shimonek was on the other end of the line.
“I’m going to L.A.”
As fate would have it, the Bolts ultimately reunited the pair whose paths had crossed five years prior.
“It’s cool that we’ve gotten to play together at all three levels,” Shimonek said. “It was just an all-star game in high school, but then we went to Texas Tech and now here. (The Chargers) thought that I would fit well here so I talked to Dylan and told him that it’s awesome that he got picked. If I was to go undrafted, I probably would end up here.”
“We’re pumped,” added Cantrell. “He’s always said that Philip Rivers has always been his favorite quarterback, and so just the chance for him to come in and learn from him, build a relationship and see how he operates day to day, I think that was a big factor. It didn’t hurt that I was coming here as well! But it worked out perfectly.”
Cantrell and Shimonek are the latest pair of college teammates to join the Bolts after last year’s duos of Mike Williams and Artavis Scott as well as Isaac Rochell and James Onwualu. But they’re not just teammates, they’re also roommates helping each other learn the ins and outs of their new offense.
“Going to college or any time you move and go someplace you’re unfamiliar with, it always makes it easier if you know somebody,” Cantrell mentioned. “You’re a lot more comfortable. Just being in the room with him, you know your roommate and you don’t have to have that awkward introduction!”
“We study together every night,” added Shimonek. “We know how to talk to each other and feed off each other a little bit. We’ve got a really good relationship and just have to keep working and keep getting better.”
After combining for eight touchdowns in college, the pair got back on the field last weekend for rookie minicamp, rekindling that bond they had at Texas Tech. Now Chargers, both Cantrell and Shimonek are excited to keep working together to show what each player brings to the Bolts roster.
“He’s the hardest worker,” Cantrell said of Shimonek. “He comes ready to work every single day. We compete; we always compete in the weight room as weight room warriors. No matter if he’s the underdog or the starter, he’s going to approach the day the same way and approach practice the same way.”
“He wants to win,” Shimonek said of his teammate. “He works extremely hard and is very dedicated. Now that this is our job, we really don’t have a choice but to do that, but I know we’re both looking forward to moving forward.” Read