With wide receivers Perez Ashford, Martel Moore and left guard Logan Pegram returning, NIU football’s offense will feature plenty of new faces next season.
However, there’s a face that should jog memories of a player who received modest playing time, but will be handling major reps under center for the Huskies next season: Jordan Lynch.
After rotating with former quarterback and now potential NFL draft pick Chandler Harnish, Lynch is now the full-time starting signal caller for the Huskies. Lynch said it’s a dream come true to be the starting quarterback for the defending 2011 MAC Champions.
“I love it every day,” Lynch said. “I step out on the field and I’m the leader out there; that’s what I’m there for. So when things are tough, I’m going to be there.”
Lynch, who has completed 26 passes in his career, will receive tutelage from his third offensive coordinator in the same amount of years in Mike Dunbar. Yet there won’t be any major changes to the Huskies’ offensive scheme, as Dunbar will look to accommodate Lynch’s style of play.
“We have not changed the offense,” Dunbar said. “The person who is learning is me. I’ve adjusted the language, but everything for Jordan should be the same.”
Dunbar said Lynch is a great runner, but he’s improved his passing as well, and hopefully NIU will find the balance between its new starting signal caller’s athletic ability and arm.
“We’re going to spread the field and do the all the zone-read stuff that everybody does,” Dunbar said. “But Jordan does a nice job doing that stuff, and we’ve obviously got to mix in the action-pass. But I think the key to the offense is going to be balance and taking advantage of his athleticism.”
Dunbar, whose 35 years of coaching includes stints as a head coach and offensive coordinator at multiple levels of college football, regarded Lynch with praise.
“I’d hate to throw him in drawers, but I certainly think he’s a top-drawer type kid,” Dunbar said. “With some experience, I think you’ll see him develop and do extremely well.”
Lynch’s development could advance quickly with the group of wide receivers returning next season. Dunbar called the receivers “the most experienced group,” which includes the seasoned Ashford and Moore, along with the likes of Da’Ron Brown and Anthony Johnson, who are expected to receive more playing time.
Lynch said the returning group of wideouts will make his transition as a starter that much easier.
“Jordan has a really strong arm,” Moore said. “It’s a difference between him and Chandler. Jordan’s has a little bit more power behind him...and it’s coming out way faster with quarterbacks coach Bob Cole coaching him.”
With an added zip on the ball coming from Lynch, Moore sees plenty of big plays in store for NIU’s offense vertically speaking.
“The faster, the better,” Moore said. “And if all we got to do is reach our catch and then run, I feel like we can run after the play more than the last couple of years.”