Huskie offensive weapons garner preseason attention
The Paul Hornung Award is given to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. The 2013 Watch List was compiled by a panel of college football experts based on a combination of 2012 statistics
One of four quarterbacks on the watch list, Lynch proved his versatility last season becoming the first Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in NCAA history to pass for more than 3,000 yards (3,138) and rush for more than 1,500 yards (1,815) in a single season.
Last season, the Chicago native ranked fourth in the nation in rushing and had more 100-yard games (12) than any other player in Division I. A product of Mt. Carmel High School, Lynch led the Huskies to a 12-game winning streak, including a double overtime win over Kent State, and a berth in the 2013 Orange Bowl.
Lynch, who finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting last year, earned second team All-America honors from the Associated Press and Phil Steele’s Magazine last season and won the Vern Smith Leadership Award as MAC MVP. NIU has launched a Heisman Trophy campaign for Lynch for 2013 centered around the theme, “Jordan Lynch for 6,” including a website, www.JordanLynchfor6.com.
Lewis is the Huskies’ top returning wide receiver. A native of Riviera Beach, Fla., Lewis was second in receiving for NIU with 539 yards on 48 receptions in 2012. He also added 111 yards rushing. A threat on special teams, Lewis returned 24 kickoffs, one for a touchdown, for 589 yards and had nine punt returns for 77 yards.
The Mid-American Conference has the second-most names on the list with six, with the SEC leading with nine. Joining Lynch and Lewis are Kent State’s Dri Archer, Jerry “BooBoo” Gates of Bowling Green, Toledo’s Bernard Reedy and Jamill Smith of Ball State. NIU and Florida are the only schools with two players on the list.