College football’s top award will be presented Saturday evening
Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel HS) will travel to New York City and be honored as a finalist for the 2013 Heisman Memorial Trophy, the Heisman Trophy Trust announced Monday during ESPN’s Sportscenter broadcast.
Lynch is the first Huskie player to be selected as a finalist for the trophy, which annually recognizes the most outstanding college football player in the country.
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded at 7 p.m. (CT) Saturday, Dec. 14, during an ESPN national television broadcast. Lynch is one of six finalists for the award in 2013.
“Obviously I am extremely happy for Jordan to get this invitation to the Heisman Trophy Ceremony this weekend and be honored as a finalist,” said NIU head coach Rod Carey. “This is a great honor for him and it recognizes the great career he has had. It is so well-deserved that he gets to go to New York. I’m also very happy for NIU, that along with Jordan’s accomplishments, our team and our university will be put on center stage in New York.”
Carey said Lynch’s unique abilities make him more than worthy to be honored as one of the nation’s best.
“I have never been around someone who has 64 percent completion rate as a passer and has the rushing records that would be great for just a running back,” he said. “He can do both. He’s a special, special athlete, and we were sure fortunate to get to coach him and have him on this team at the time we did.”
Typically, Lynch recognized the contributions of those around him.
“It’s hard (to get selected from a non-AQ school). One of the biggest things is you have to win games, have a winning team and your stats have to separate you from the bigger schools. I knew if I had a chance to get there it would be a good individual season, and I knew it would take a great year as a team for us. I’m really happy and, like I said, I wouldn’t be here without my coaches and teammates.”
Sean T. Frazier, NIU associate vice president and director of Athletics, congratulated Lynch on behalf of the entire university.
“NIU is extremely proud of Jordan and what he has accomplished, along with his teammates, this season,” Frazier said. “He is a great leader and a model student-athlete. I’m happy for Jordan, for his family and for our coaching staff. To be recognized as a finalist for one of the greatest trophies in sports is tremendous for Jordan, for our football program and for Northern Illinois University.”
Lynch, who won the MAC’s Vern Smith Leadership Award as league MVP and Offensive Player of the Year, is also a finalist for the Manning Quarterback Award, the Senior CLASS Award and the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. He was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Quarterback Award.
The only FBS player in the country who is his team’s first option both as a passer and as a runner, Lynch was named MAC West Offensive Player of the Week a record eight times this year while compiling 4,557 yards of total offense on 1,881 rushing and 2,676 passing yards. He gained over 300 yards of total offense in 11 of the Huskies’ 13 games in 2013 (all except blowout wins over Purdue and UMass when he did not play fourth quarter).
Lynch ranks fourth nationally in total offense (351.0 yards per game) and is second in both rushing yards (1,881) and points responsible for (276). He is only the fifth player in NCAA history to have 20 rushing and 20 passing touchdowns in a season and has broken the NIU single season record for touchdowns scored.
Lynch has twice set the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 316 and 321-yard outings versus Central and Western Michigan, respectively, and is averaging 6.9 yards per carry on the season. He is completing 63.1 percent of his passes and has thrown for 150 yards or more in 12 games while reaching the 100-yard rushing mark seven times, including in each of NIU’s last six contests.
Perhaps most impressively, Lynch is 24-3 as the Huskies’ starting quarterback in two seasons, including a 12-1 mark in 2013. He has one game remaining as he will lead NIU into the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against Utah State on Thursday, Dec. 26.