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Top MAC Football Players Of 2014: No. 29 BGSU linebacker D.J. Lynch

The anchor for the Falcons defense D.J. Lynch ranks among not only the best linebackers in the MAC but also in the country.

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Inside linebacker D.J. Lynch was the heart of the Bowling Green Falcons fifth overall ranked defense last season and looks to continue to make his presence felt his senior year.  Known as one of the the strongest pound-for-pound players on this Falcon team, Lynch brings a physical aspect to this defense that can change the tone of a game with just one hit.

Lynch was 29th overall ranked player Michigan's recruiting class of 2010 and is originally from Auburn Heights High School in Detroit, Michigan.  Lynch was red-shirted as a freshman at BG, but soon after made is presence felt for this Falcon defense.  In 2011 he played  in all 12 games for Bowling Green and started two compiling 43 tackles (Five for a loss) and three sacks in his freshman campaign.  The 2012 season was when D.J. really started to show what he could do on the field as he racked up 63 tackles (six for a loss), two sacks and a forced fumble. However, one play will stand out in the 2012 season that shows the physicality of this kid and that was in the Falcons bowl game versus San Jose St (I apologize for the video quality).

Pre-season preparation is extremely important to the development of a player, Lynch puts his work in during the offseason which makes him a great player during the season. "Every time I get into the offseason, I go and watch the previous season over and over...I try to improve all aspects of my game in the offseason which includes getting into game shape in the following year." said Lynch  "I try to improve my game both physically and mentally by watching tape going through the fundamentals."

Lynch became the anchor in the middle of this Falcon defense during the 2013 season leading the team in tackles with 85 ( five for a loss) and two sacks. This was good enough for Lynch to help the Falcons defense to it's fifth overall ranking in the nation and best overall defense in the MAC.  Also, Lynch was good enough to earn 2nd team All-Conference and had a career game back in his home city of Detroit during the MAC championship game against Northern Illinois.  Lynch was able to compile 11 tackles against Northern Illinois and help stifle the offense led be Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch and propel BG to a MAC championship victory.

With a few key losses on defense including fellow middle linebacker Paul Swan and safety Boo Boo Gates, look for D.J. to be the leader of this defense yet again.  Lynch is already rated as one of the top inside linebackers in the country and a stellar 2014 season could propel him to be a high draft pick next spring.