June 8, 2009

Shinskie the solution?

Former Mt. Carmel, Pa. quarterback Dave Shinskie is unlike any other prospect we at EagleAction.com have interviewed over the years? Instead of talking to a pimpley-faced teenager whose voice is still cracking, Shinskie is a mature, 25-year old who has had more life experience than most of our staff. Oh yeah, he's also a Boston College quarterback.

"I chose Boston College yesterday," said the deep-voiced former professional baseball pitcher turned quarterback. "It came down to many different things but I'm looking at this as a way to get a great education first and foremost and then have some fun playing football. Baseball was a fun ride but all good things come to an end and this is a new start."

Shinskie, a 6-foot-4, 215-pounder, chose the Eagles over offers from Pitt and Rutgers. Temple was also interested. It all started when he was released by the Toronto Blue Jays organization three weeks ago and his high school coach, Mike Brennan, asked him if he wanted to throw the football again.

"He just asked me I guess because Temple had asked him and that sort of started the interest," he said. "I loved playing football and throwing the ball around so it was fun picking it back up. I can still spin it and I throw it harder than I did in high school. I am obviously a bit rusty because I've had a baseball in my hand every day since high school, but I picked up a football every once in awhile to goof around. Now when I throw it's a lot more serious."

In addition to academics, Shinskie notes that the coaching staff and ability to compete right away for the starting job at BC led to his decision.

"They said I can come in and compete right away and I think I can get it done," he said. "I'll be there later this month and will begin working out and take it from there. I will obviously need to learn the offense and the other guys have that edge, but I'm confident I'll be able to do this."

Looking back in the Rivals.com recruiting database to the class of 2003, the name Dave Shinskie was common knowledge to college recruiters in the Big East and Big Ten. He had offers from Indiana, Iowa and Temple as well as interest from Pitt and Michigan State before he signed with Delaware. Why Delaware? Shinskie was sure he was going to be drafted for baseball and would make his career playing on the diamond.

Shinskie was correct as he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of Mt. Carmel High School in Pennsylvania in the 2003 amateur draft. He was selected in the 4th round, 118th overall as a pitcher. However, Shinskie never got past AA ball and his baseball dream ended three weeks ago. Now the former quarterback has four years of college football eligibility left and a big arm.

Shinskie's best year in baseball was in 2007 when he played for the Fort Myers Miracle in advanced A ball. He went 7-4 with a 3.36 ERA in 37 games as a middle reliever. However, since 2007 there was little activity on his baseball resume, appearing in only 30 games over the last two years.

In high school, Shinskie was a two-sport star. He was a four-year starter at Mt. Carmel and led his team to two AA state titles. He threw for 6,334 yards and 57 touchdowns during his career and led his team to a 41-6 record. In baseball, his fastball was clocked at more than 90 MPH in high school. Shinskie also played basketball.

Shinskie will compete with Codi Boek and Justin Tuggle for the starting job following the departure of Dominique Davis. At 25 years old, he could be nearing 30 by the time he leaves BC.

"It's funny because one of my friends told me the other day that I was that guy in the movie 'Uneccessary Roughness'," he said. "I'm not as old as that guy was but I guess it's similar. But there have been guys who have been able to do this and do it well and I hope to be another one of them."

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