If there is one player Florida State is keying in on from NIU, it is without a doubt junior quarterback Jordan Lynch. Lynch owns the keys to the offense and he is what drives and makes this offense go.
Due to his strong play, Lynch had a Heisman campaign launched this season, which resulted in a top-7 finish.
Lynch led all quarterbacks in the nation in rushing with 1,771 yards and 19 touchdowns. He broke Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson’s single season rushing record which was set in 2010. Lynch has also set the NCAA record for 11 straight 100-yard rushing games.
With all the accolades Lynch earned this season and the records he broke, he has earned the respect of Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.
“It's amazing to me, how does he practice?” Fisher said. “I mean, he does so much in the game, I don't know how he's got the energy to practice all week. The guy runs the ball for 130 yards a game and throws it for 250 or whatever. It's amazing what he does and the pounding and the beating.”
Fisher has enjoyed watching film on Lynch and seeing how tough of a player he is when he is out on the field.
“He is one of the unique guys in college football,” Fisher said. “It's been actually fun to watch his film… I mean, he's not an extremely big guy. He's well built, but he's not a huge guy, and to do the things he does, he's a great competitor, I think he has great instincts for the game, he can throw it, he can run it, he's tough, he's physical.”
Lynch’s ability to both run and throw the ball effectively has made it just that much harder for Florida State to put a game plan together for him on defense.
“Those linebackers, those second-level guys, those safeties [will be important],” Fisher said. “And they run it from all kinds -- empty formations, closed formations, different things he does, and you really have to have great eye discipline in your keys to be able to make sure you're making the right reads. There's no doubt, it's extremely tough.”
Florida State defensive lineman Timmy Jernigan also feels it could be difficult to prepare for Lynch, due to him being a dual-threat quarterback.
“He’s a pretty good player,” Jernigan said. “We watched him on film and he’s leading their team in passing and leading in rushing. He’s a dual-threat and it could be very tough preparing for him so we just got to come out and play him hard and play technique sound from the beginning of the game to the end of it.”
Florida State defensive back Xavier Rhodes has also taken notice of Lynch and the success he has had this season.
“He is a good quarterback to tell you the truth, a really good quarterback,” Rhodes said. “He can run and throw and is very aggressive; [he] likes to take chances and has made some big plays this season.”
In the end, Fisher believes what makes a player great, is their ability to make other players around them better. That’s what he said is great about Lynch.
“[Lynch’s] great quarterback, all the great quarterbacks, because they all have one thing,” Fisher said. “They're all extremely tough, extremely competitive, they can throw it, they can run it, and they make the guys around them better. I don't think you're a great player until you make the guys around you better and he definitely does that, so to me he categorizes himself as a great player.”