No. 2 Story of the Year: Lynch finishes 3rd in Heisman voting


Redshirt senior quarterback Jordan Lynch carries the ball against Purdue Sep. 28 in West Lafayette, Ind. Lynch threw for 2,892 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,920 yards and 23 touchdowns in his Heisman campaign.

By Brian Earle

After a record-breaking season, quarterback Jordan Lynch became the first player in NIU to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, finishing in third place.

It wasn’t the first season in which Lynch gained national recognition. As a redshirt junior in 2012, Lynch finished No. 7 in the Heisman voting.

In his senior season, Lynch upped the ante with a historical No. 3 finish in the Heisman voting, taking a trip to New York with six finalists. Lynch finished No. 3 behind quarterbacks Jameis Winston, who won the Heisman, and AJ McCarron. He received 558 votes and placed on 40 first-place ballots despite playing in the MAC, which is considered to be a lesser conference by many of the Heisman voters.

Lynch’s finish tied him for the highest finish by a non-BCS player since Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan finished third in 2007.

Lynch now sits atop the MAC with the greatest finish in Heisman history ahead of Marshall wide receiver Randy Moss, who finished fourth in 1997. Lynch was the MAC’s first Heisman finalist since Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington in 1999. Those three are the only MAC Heisman finalists in history.

Lynch started to gain more attention after he broke the record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game and then broke his own record later in the season. He started to gain much more national recognition once the Huskies started playing their midweek televised games on ESPN 2 in November.

Coach Rod Carey lobbied for his quarterback as a Heisman finalist.

“If Jordan isn’t in the conversation for the Heisman, I don’t know what people are watching,” Carey said, according to a Nov. 14 Northern Star article. “They obviously were asleep. In my estimation, that trophy goes to the best player in the nation, OK.”