Jordan Lynch makes his case for QB job at NIU
BY RICK ARMSTRONG Sun-Times Media April 21, 2012 10:00PM
Updated: May 24, 2012 8:22AM
DEKALB — When Jordan Lynch was leading Mount Carmel to a second consecutive Class 8A semifinal playoff appearance in 2008, the Caravan quarterback got recruiting calls from a number of major college programs.
“A lot of the Big Ten teams looked at me for ‘athlete’ — running back-slash-receiver-slash-safety,” the 6-1, 210-pound redshirt junior said Saturday. “Northern [and former coach Jerry Kill] was the only school that wanted me as a quarterback.”
Lynch certainly looked the part at NIU’s spring game, completing 29 of 44 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions in leading the Red team to a 31-6 victory against the White in a controlled scrimmage.
The Red consisted of mainly first-team players and the White second-teamers.
The game was preceded by a groundbreaking ceremony for NIU’s $9.5 million Chessick Indoor Practice Facility just north of Huskie Stadium that is expected to be ready in the fall of 2013.
“I started playing quarterback my freshman year of high school after playing running back in eighth grade,” said Lynch. “I always idolized quarterbacks. That’s the only guy I watched on TV. When the coach tells you you can play it here, that’s all I ever wanted to do.”
He has some big shoes to fill, following NFL prospect Chandler Harnish who set numerous school records last year in leading the Huskies to their first Mid-American Conference championship in 28 years and earning the league’s MVP award.
Lynch saw spot duty the last two seasons and wowed Huskie fans with his legs. He had a 90-yard scoring run against Buffalo in 2010 and a 66-yard burst for a touchdown last season against Western Michigan.
“You’ll see a lot of things [with Lynch] that don’t miss a step and as a runner, he might be better,” said second-year NIU coach Dave Doeren, whose team takes a nine-game winning streak into its 2012 season opener at Soldier Field against Iowa on Sept. 1.
In a 38-20 GoDaddy.com Bowl victory over Arkansas State in January, Lynch replaced an injured Harnish in the second quarter and completed all three of his passes for 59 yards of a 78-yard TD drive that gave NIU the lead before Harnish returned to finish the game.
In limited action, Lynch has completed 19 of 26 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
“He definitely has a strong arm, so the ball is there on time,” said senior wide receiver Perez Ashford, who had three catches for 54 yards in the scrimmage. “Everybody knows about his athleticism. His arm is what people haven’t seen yet. It’s definitely gonna shock a lot of people how accurate and how powerful he is.”
Lynch threw touchdown passes on Saturday of 75 yards to running back Akeem Daniels, 60 yards to tight end Luke Eakes (3-77), 11 yards to Leighton Settle (4-13) and four yards to Martel Moore (4-18).
Sophomore speedster Tommylee Lewis led the receiving corps with seven catches for 98 yards.
“Jordan threw the ball extremely well and threw some really nice deep balls,” Doeren said.