There is no doubt that Northern Illinois Huskies senior quarterback Jordan Lynch is the face of the team. Lynch led the Huskies to arguably the greatest season in team history, but an encore may be an even harder task.
According to niuhuskies.com, the 6-foot, 216-pound Chicago, Ill., native broke four NCAA, two MAC and 14 NIU records in his first year as a starter last season. Lynch chewed up 3,138 yards on 60.2 percent passing and connected for 25 touchdowns through the air while only tossing six interceptions. For good measure, he pounded out 1,815 yards on the ground, posting 19 rushing touchdowns. He became the first player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history to pass for more than 3,000 yards while rushing for more than 1,500 yards in the same season; that’s something the great Johnny Manziel could not even accomplish.
With new head coach Rod Carey’s offensive-minded attitude and the fact that the Huskies are returning 16 starters, including all five offensive linemen, Lynch has a solid chance of replicating his numbers from last season and possibly contending for the Heisman Trophy. The school has already gone all out in supporting Lynch in his Heisman campaign, but even he knows it will take total dedication and an extreme amount of work and focus to have a shot at the most coveted award in college football.
“I would say, coming from the Mid-American Conference, my stats would have to be pretty ridiculous [to win the Heisman],” Lynch said while addressing the media at NIU’s media day in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, Aug. 1. “One thing I look at with the Heisman is I need to win games. I need to go undefeated. I need to go back to another BCS [bowl game] and finish it this time.”
Lynch has already been named to both Phil Steele’s and The Sporting News’ 2013 preseason All-MAC first team and to five watch lists: the Hornung Award, the Maxwell Award, the Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and most recently, the Manning Award. But, in what will be his final season at NIU, if Lynch is able improve upon his insane individual performances from last season, don’t be surprised when you see him as one of the Heisman finalists at the ceremony in New York in early December.