The only player from the Mid-American Conference on the list, Lynch is also one seven quarterbacks to be a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Lynch picked up MAC West Offensive Player of the Week accolades earlier this week following his performance in NIU’s 30-27 win at Iowa in the 2013 season opener. He completed 25-of-41 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 56 yards on 22 carries to total 331 yards of offense on 63 plays. The Mt. Carmel product tied his career highs for both completions (25 vs. Toledo, 11-14-12) and attempts (vs. Florida State, Orange Bowl, 1-1-13). Lynch’s 275 passing yards marked the third-highest total of his career.
He threw touchdown passes of 40 and 21 yards to Tommylee Lewis in the first half and led the Huskies on a game-tying touchdown drive in the fourth quarter. On that drive, he completed all five of his pass attempts for 84 yards, including the 33-yard touchdown to Da’Ron Brown with 5:05 to play.
In his first season as the starting quarterback, Lynch turned in a record-setting year leading NIU to a 12-2 record, its second-straight Mid-American Conference title and a berth in the Discover Orange Bowl, the first BCS berth for a MAC school.
Lynch is just as active off the field as he is on it. Tallying 22 community service hours a year, he participates in multiple community serve efforts throughout the area working with various groups.
A leader on and off the field, Lynch, a native of Chicago, has been very active in the DeKalb-Sycamore Community working with young and old alike.
He visits area elementary and middle schools, playing games with the children and reading books to them. He also shares his love and passion for football with local children by running football camps in the surrounding area. He and his teammates played bingo one night a week at a local senior center. He was also a celebrity judge for Relay For Life’s chili cook-off during the spring and, this past summer, Lynch and some off his teammates took part in “Tuesdays on the Town” in nearby Sycamore.
After earning his degree in kinesiology and exercise science this summer, Lynch is pursuing a second degree in organizational and corporate communications. He achieved Huskie Scholar status (3.0-3.49) within NIU’s Academic Excellence program during the 2012-13 academic year.
Lynch was also named to the watch lists released by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Manning Award (top quarterback including bowl performance), the Walter Camp Award (most outstanding player), Maxwell Award (college player of the year), the Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player and the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award (top quarterback).