Jameill Showers sat in the office of University of Texas-El Paso head football coach Sean Kugler needing an opportunity.
The Miners’ first-year head coach said he wanted someone that was hungry and wanted to work.
“I pretty much fit the description,” Showers said.
A backup quarterback the past two seasons at Texas A&M, Showers, the former Shoemaker quarterback who guided the Grey Wolves to their only playoff appearance in school history, doesn’t have time for quarterback battles — he has just two years of college football eligibility remaining — and is starving for his chance as a college football starter.
Before Showers left Kugler’s office this weekend, the UTEP coach, who spent nearly a decade coaching in the NFL, gave Showers commitment papers.
Showers signed them and faxed them back Tuesday.
After graduating from Texas A&M this summer, Showers will transfer to UTEP, where he expects to be the starting quarterback and help turn around a Miners football team that went 3-9 last season.
“I want to go there, help myself, but also help revive a program that I feel like it’s time for them to be recognized,” Showers said. “I wouldn’t have committed if I didn’t feel I couldn’t handle that. I’ve been in pressure situations my whole life and I’m just ready for it. Honestly, I’ve been missing the pressure of being a starting quarterback for a team.”
Showers, who announced Jan. 28 that he would be transferring from A&M following his graduation in June, visited the University of Houston last week and received offers from the Cougars as well as Stephen F. Austin. He also expected an offer from Arizona State during a visit he had planned to take during spring break.
“I didn’t really want to go to a place that I was going to be walking into a quarterback battle. I just wanted a place where I know I was going to start or at least had a really good chance at starting, which is why I chose UTEP,” Showers said. “I don’t want to sound like I’m scared of competition or anything, but I only have two years left. I don’t really have any room for that.”
Showers made a list of pros and cons for both schools he visited. The only con he listed for UTEP was its distance from home.
“It was a bittersweet feeling because I’m going to be so far away from home, really the only thing I can do is concentrate on football, so it could help me,” Showers said. “The coaching staff was great and I felt like I was wanted there and he pretty much said the starting job is mine once I get there. ... I just felt like that was the place for me; it just spoke to me.”
He had the same feeling when he left College Station following his first visit to Texas A&M as a junior at Shoemaker. Showers was the front-runner to be the Aggies’ starting quarterback in 2012, but two weeks before Texas A&M’s season- and Southeastern Conference-opener, A&M head coach Mike Sumlin announced redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel would debut as the Aggies’ starter. Manziel led the Aggies to their first 11-win season since 1998 and became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Showers completed 31 of 49 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns in his two seasons as the Aggies’ backup quarterback.
Kugler was an assistant coach in the NFL for nine seasons from 2004-12 at Detroit, Buffalo and Pittsburgh, with a stop at Boise State in 2006 when the Broncos were the only undefeated team in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
“They have a bunch of talent, he said, they just need somebody to lead them,” Showers said of his conversation with Kugler. “He said that what they’re missing is a true leader and he just felt like that’s what attracted him to me.”