Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch (Chicago, Ill./Mt. Carmel HS) is in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend where he was honored as the 2012 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year by the Touchdown Club of Columbus.
This year’s event marked the 58th straight year that the Touchdown Club of Columbus has brought together some of the top college and high school players in America for its annual football awards banquet.
Lynch’s appearance in Columbus marks the fourth straight season that a Northern Illinois player has been honored. NIU defensive end Jake Coffman won the Touchdown Club’s Male Athlete of the Year honor in 2009, while quarterback Chandler Harnish earned the MAC Player of the Year honor in 2010 and was the Male Athlete of the Year in 2011.
Former Nebraska Athletic Director and Head Coach Tom Osborne was honored at the event, along with Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer, Buckeyes’ quarterback Braxton Miller and Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron and a host of other prep and college players.
Lynch led Northern Illinois to a 12-2 record, its second consecutive Mid-American Conference Championship and a historic berth in the Discover Orange Bowl, the first appearance by a MAC team in a Bowl Championship Series bowl.
The Chicago native set three NCAA records in 2012 en route to earning second-team All-America honors. He accounted for 5,740 yards of total offense and 44 touchdowns as a junior with 3,138 passing yards and 1,815 rushing yards. He rushed for 100 yards or more in 11 games to demolish the previous record for most consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarter, and became the first player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history to pass for 3,000 yard and rush for 1,500 in the same season.
Lynch finished seventh in the 2012 Heisman Trophy voting. He ranked fourth in the country in total offense as a junior and was the nation’s seventh-leading rusher with an average of 129.6 yards per game. He led a Huskie offense that averaged 38.6 points per game as NIU ranked 12th in the country in total offense, 13th in scoring and 20th in total offense.
He won the Mid-American Conference Vern Smith Leadership Award, presented to the league’s most valuable player as selected by MAC head coaches, and was the MAC Offensive Player of the Year and first team All-MAC quarterback. He also earned All-America recognition from CBSSports.com, SI.com and Phil Steele’s Magazine.
Lynch and the Huskies open 2013 spring practices Wednesday, March 20, with the annual spring game scheduled for Saturday, April 13.