Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois
Stats: 2,676 passing yards, 23 TDs, 7 INTs; 1,881 rushing yards, 22 TDs
Why he made it to NYC: Lynch's numbers speak for themselves. He has tallied more than 300 yards of total offense in 11 of 13 games, falling short in the other two (Purdue, UMass) because he did not play in the fourth quarter of those routs. The redshirt senior ranks second nationally in both rushing yards and points responsible for (276), and he is just the fifth player in NCAA history with 20 rushing and passing scores in the same season. Lynch set the NCAA record for single-game rushing yards by a quarterback with 316 against Central Michigan, only to later break it with a 321-yard performance against Western Michigan. He is 24-3 in his two years as the Huskies' starter, leading them to the Mid-American Conference title and Discover Orange Bowl berth last year and a perfect regular season this year, before falling to Bowling Green in the MAC title game.
Heisman Moment: Arguably no player has been more responsible for his team's success than Lynch, who took the program to unprecedented heights last year, leading NIU to the MAC's first BCS bid and finishing seventh in the Heisman voting. That triggered an offseason of promotions, including lunchboxes and notebooks featuring him in uniform, building hype for his final year. All he's done since with all the attention on him is improve his completion percentage and rushing total, leading NIU to a 12-0 mark before losing in the MAC title game. His Heisman moments have usually come midweek, adding a whole new level of fun to #MACtion for the die-hards who tune in on Tuesday and Wednesday nights to get their football fix. His most important performance was probably a Nov. 13 contest against highly touted MAC foe Ball State. Tied entering the fourth quarter, Lynch led the Huskies to 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to pull out a 48-27 win. He finished 26 of 32 passing for 345 yards with two touchdowns while rushing 20 times for 123 yards and two more touchdowns, adding a pair of ridiculous escape jobs from defenders to gain first downs. After the game, NIU coach Rod Carey began his press conference with a passionate plea, telling the handful of national media outlets on hand that night that Lynch was more than deserving of Heisman consideration.