Northern Illinois University’s Jordan Lynch has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award for football, and is also one of 10 senior quarterbacks selected as finalists for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
The Senior CLASS Award honors one senior FBS football student-athlete who excels both on and off the field, specifically in the areas of community, classroom, character and competition.
The name of the award is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The 10 Senior CLASS Award finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in September. Fans will help select the winner of the award by voting once a day through the award’s website.
Lynch is the first Huskie to be named a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award since defensive end and Marine Corps veteran Jake Coffman was a first team selection for NIU in 2010, narrowly missing the top spot. Quarterback Chandler Harnish was on the semifinalist list in 2011.
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award has been presented since 1987 and honors the top collegiate senior (or fourth year junior) quarterback in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Candidates are judged on character, citizenship, scholastic achievement and leadership in addition to their play on the field. The award is named for legendary quarterback Johnny Unitas and presented by the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Educational Foundation, Inc. and Transamerica.
Lynch, who was named one of 16 semifinalists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award earlier this week, has led NIU to a perfect 9-0 record and a No. 18 (BCS) national ranking in 2013. He has thrown for 1,871 yards and 19 touchdowns while completing 63.6 percent of his passes and run for 1,150 yards on 173 carries and 12 scores for an average of 6.6 yards per carry and 127.8 yards per game. The NIU senior from Chicago (Mt. Carmel High School) ranks fourth nationally in rushing yards and is second in points responsible for with 32 total touchdowns.
He earned his fifth Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week honor of the season earlier this week after scoring a career-high four rushing touchdowns, and adding a passing score, in just over one half of play Saturday at Massachusetts.
On Oct. 19, Lynch set his sixth NCAA record with 316 rushing yards versus Central Michigan, which still ranks as the highest in the nation (FBS) this year. In NIU’s last three games, he has accounted for 534 rushing and 538 passing yards (1,072 total) with eight rushing and six passing touchdowns. Lynch currently ranks in the Top 50 in the nation in 13 different NCAA statistical categories and is in the Top 12 in six.
“I’ve got a lot of talent around me and they make it pretty easy for me to have this success,” was the typically modest response from Lynch when asked about his accomplishments this year. “Our coaches put us in the right position and we just have to go out and make plays.”
Lynch and the Huskies take on Ball State and quarterback Keith Wenning – also among the 10 finalists for the Golden Arm – in a Mid-American Conference West showdown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13.