NIU’s Jordan Lynch was named the 2012 winner of the MAC’s Vern Smith Leadership Award. The award is given annually to the conference’s best player as voted on by MAC coaches.
Lynch, a dual-threat junior quarterback, ranks third nationally in total offense, is fifth in rushing, 12th in passing efficiency and is responsible for 19.5 points per game. He averages 7.9 yards per play, third highest in the nation. His eye-popping numbers have put him in the Heisman Trophy conversation. You can vote for Lynch’s Heisman hopes at ESPN.
He has also set a number of NCAA records during this break-out season. He set the record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback with 10 to destroy the previous mark of five straight 100-yard games. He became the first FBS quarterback ever to pass for 400 yards and rush for 150 in the same game when he threw for 407 yards on 25-of-36 passing and ran for 166 yards on 30 carries in NIU’s 31-24 win over Toledo. Lynch needs 92 yards to break the NCAA record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. He has 2,750 passing and 1,611 rushing yards on the year.
The award has been given to an NIU player six out of the last seven years. Last year, Chandler Harnish won the award.