No. 1 Athlete of the Year: Jordan Lynch

By Brian Earle

After rewriting the NCAA, MAC and NIU record books in his senior season, the clear choice for Sports’ No. 1 Athlete of 2013-2014 is none other than football’s Jordan Lynch.

Lynch holds the NCAA record for most rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 1,920, which breaks the previous record of 1,815 rushing yards set by Lynch his junior season.

The Mt. Carmel product also set the NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game. He broke the record twice in 2013, initially breaking the record with 316 rushing yards against Central Michigan before breaking it later in the season against Western Michigan when he ran for 321 rushing yards.

Lynch also got it done in the air as he threw for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns. In the Huskies’ 14 games, Lynch was able to throw a touchdown in every game except for the Toledo matchup.

To go along with his 23 rushing touchdowns, Lynch became one of five players in NCAA history to run and throw for 20 touchdowns in a season. In Lynch’s career as a Huskie, he holds the record for most touchdowns responsible for with 100.

In the end, Lynch set the NIU record for pass completions in a season with 253, total touchdowns with 48 and rushing touchdowns with 23.

“We knew Jordan was going to be really good,” said coach Rod Carey, according to a Dec. 10 Northern Star article. “His body of work this year speaks for itself. I love his attitude about teammates. He deserves to be out there.”

Lynch showed he can do it all when he scored a rushing and receiving touchdown while recording a passing touchdown against Eastern Michigan, scoring a total of six touchdowns.

For his performance, Lynch finished No. 3 in the Heisman voting and was named the MAC MVP while taking home an endless list of other awards.

“I thought one of the biggest reasons I felt like I was getting a lot of publicity with the Heisman was because we’re undefeated,” Lynch said, according to a Dec. 10 Northern Star article. “I’d take the MAC Championship in a heartbeat over this whole Heisman thing.”

For his second season as the Huskies’ starter, Lynch took the Huskies to the MAC Championship game as well as the Poinsettia Bowl. He led the Huskies to their first undefeated regular season in school history, going 12-0, while never losing a home game in two years.