NIU QB earns highest-ever MAC Heisman finish
NEW YORK — Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel HS) capped a record-setting career with yet another record by placing third in the 2013 voting for the Heisman Memorial Trophy to earn the highest finish ever by a player from the Mid-American Conference.
Lynch, a dual-threat quarterback who led NIU to a 12-0 start and a 24-3 record in two seasons as the Huskies’ starter, placed behind only winner Jameis Winston of Florida State and runner-up A.J. McCarron of Alabama. Winston won the award with 2,205 total points, including 668 first-place votes, while McCarron had 704 points (79 first place) and Lynch collected 558 points and 40 first-place votes.
Boston College running back Andre Williams and 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M were fourth and fifth, respectively. Williams had 470 points and 29 first-place votes while Manziel had 421 points and 30 first-place votes.
The previous best finish by a Mid-American Conference player was fourth place by Randy Moss of Marshall in 1997, when he finished with 253 votes. Chad Pennington of Marshall placed fifth in 1999 with 247 points. Although disappointed he did not win the trophy, Lynch realized the significance of achieving the highest finish by a MAC player in Heisman history.
“I came here to win, so I’m kind of disappointed,” Lynch said. “But a top three finish and the best finish in MAC history is a great accomplishment with all the great players who have come through the conference. It’s been a great experience spending time with my family and my girlfriend out here, seeing New York City, spending time with the other finalists and meeting the former winners.”
In addition to a third-place finish and finalist plaque, Lynch takes home memories of an incredible weekend in New York City chronicled in detail by his father, Jim, and mother, Sheila.
“It was awesome,” Lynch said of meeting a multitude of past Heisman winners. “It’s a dream come true to meet those guys. I grew up watching some of them. I sat next to Barry Sanders during the ceremony. He’s a great guy.”
Lynch will have one last chance to add to his record-breaking career accomplishments when he leads the 12-1 Huskies into the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl versus Utah State on Dec. 26 at Qualcomm Stadium. The 2013 NIU squad has a chance to become the first Huskie team to win 13 games in a season and Lynch needs 119 rushing yards to become the first player in FBS history to rush for 2,000 yards and pass for 2,000 yards in a season.
In addition to Lynch, his parents and girlfriend, NIU head coach Rod Carey, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bob Cole and Sean T. Frazier, NIU associate vice president and director of Athletics, represented Northern Illinois at the event, which was televised live on ESPN.