With more and more teams using the read-option and spread offense, running quarterbacks are becoming more and more a part of college football. They are even finding their way in the NFL. With this becoming a huge part of the game, it is time to start a new tradition: honoring the country's best dual-threat quarterback. And what better way to do that then by creating an annual award, complete with a trophy and fancy ceremony. And who deserves to have a dual-threat trophy named in their honor more than Jordan Lynch? No one.
The Jordan Lynch Award should be given annually to the nation's best dual-threat quarterback, who shows excellence, sportsmanship, and integrity on and off the football field.
At the end of the 2011 season, Northern Illinois lost its star quarterback, Chandler Harnish, and Huskie fans were unsure about their new quarterback, Jordan Lynch. But by the end of the 2012 season there was no doubt.
Lynch was the first player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,500 in a single season. He led the Huskies to NIU's first 12-win season, the first (and only) BCS Bowl game in MAC History, and broke four NCAA, two MAC and 14 NIU records.
This year, he has only done more of the same. Right now NIU is 12-1 (looking at a possible 13-win season when it plays Utah State on December 26th) and has broken two of his own NCAA records this year - most rushing yards by a quarterback in a game (he set the record against CMU, with 316, then broke it five weeks later against WMU, when he ran for 321 yards) and for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback. Last year he broke Denard Robinson's record when he ran for 1,815 yards and this year, with a game to go still, he is already at 1,881. Lynch was the first player to run for 300 yards and pass for 100 in a game and is one of just five players in history to rush and throw for 20+ touchdowns in a season (three of which won the Heisman Trophy).
This year alone he was nominated as a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, the Manning Quarterback Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award. Oh, and he is only the third MAC player to ever get invited to New York as an Heisman Trophy finalist. Last year he finished seventh in the Heisman voting, but did not receive an invite to the ceremony.
Lynch is just 119 rushing yards from being the first player ever to pass and run for 2,000 yards in a season. He is one of nine QBs to pass for 5,000 and rush for 3,000 in a career and will be one of just three players to pass for 6,000 and rush for 4,000 in a career (with Pat White and Robinson).
White and Robinson are, er...were statistically the two best dual-threat quarterbacks in NCAA history. At West Virginia, White passed for 6,049 yards (56 TDs) and ran for 4,480 yards (47 TDs). During his time at Michigan, Robinson passed for 6,250 yards (49 TDs) and ran for 4,495 (42 TDs) - an NCAA record for career rushing yards by a quarterback. But both White and Robinson were four year starters. Here's what Lynch has done in just two full seasons: 5,993 passing yards (50 TDs) and 4,304 rushing yards (47 TDs)...just 192 rushing yards away from breaking Robinson's record.
If Lynch can throw for just 7 yards and run for 196 yards in his last game, he will be the only player ever to pass for 6,000 and rush for 4,500.
While White and Robinson might have played for more prolific schools, statistically there has never been a better dual-threat quarterback in the NCAA and no one deserves to be memorialized as the best running quarterback more than Lynch.
So let's make this award a reality...and official.
And while we're at it, we can just go ahead and name Jordan Lynch the first ever winner of the Jordan Lynch Award. Congrats Jordan!!