The first Huskie nicknamed after an Avenger

By Eli Gehn

When Jordan Lynch came to NIU in 2009 as a freshman, he earned the nickname “Captain America” from his teammates.

“He’s one of those guys that can do it all,” said Huskies’ starting quarterback Chandler Harnish. “He can run. He’s probably one of the stronger guys in the weight room pound for pound.”

So, who is NIU’s labeled superhero?

Lynch played quarterback and safety for Mt. Carmel High School.

He was the team captain of USA Football’s 2009 gold medal-winning Junior National Team and was named to the Chicago Sun-Times All-Area first team and the Chicago Tribune All-State honorable mention team.

The Chicago, Ill. native has been the backup to Harnish for two seasons and is the frontrunner for taking over the NIU offense in 2012.

Lynch, a redshirt sophomore, saw a good amount of action this season and has helped Harnish catch a breather throughout the games.

“Whenever [NIU offensive coordinator] Matt Canada sees that Chandler is tired, he pulls him out and lets him catch his breath,” said Huskies’ head coach Dave Doeren. “Any time your quarterback is carrying the ball like that, you’re nervous. But [playing Lynch is] what we do, and Chandler likes it.”

Last year, Lynch was fourth on the team with 362 rushing yards.

This season, he currently ranks third on the team with 195 rushing yards.

After the 2011 campaign, the Huskies’ offense will lose its starting offensive line, half of its receivers and its starting running back along with Harnish.

Harnish has a good feeling that Lynch will be able to step up next year and be the leader of new personnel on the offense.

“I have all of the confidence in the world [in Lynch],” Harnish said. “I don’t worry about him at all. I think he can run the offense just as well as I can.”

With all of the spotlight on Harnish this season, he has been helping Lynch prepare each week.

“Chandler has been like a big brother to me,” Lynch said. “Just telling me what he sees [in the film room] and teaching me all of [the] techniques and what the defense is doing…he’s been great.”

With the playing time that Lynch gets each week, it does nothing but boost his confidence heading forward.

Although there are other quarterbacks on the roster that will compete for the starting job next year, it will be Lynch’s job to lose when spring practice begins.

Lynch believes he is ready to lead next season’s team.

“We [get] a lot of great leadership from the seniors,” Lynch said. “The game plan every week [that’s given to us by the coaches] gets us ready to play.”