Dec. 13, 2013
Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch is the first Heisman finalist in school history and NIUHuskies.com is your stop for wall-to-wall coverage of this historic event. Through the blog, Lynch in New York, you can read about Lynch's experiences in New York this weekend, as well as check out photo galleries and see video highlights. Also be sure to check out NIU Athletics various social media outlets for updates throughout the day.
December 14, 2013 | 10:46 p.m. (ET)
The moment Jordan Lynch waited for all his life finally came at 8 p.m. ET when he was on the stage at the Best Buy Theatre as one of the six finalists for the most coveted prize in college football, the Heisman Trophy. He stood on that stage proud, with the same confidence he has displayed his entire career. As they interviewed each finalist, Lynch got a response from the crowd when the Chicago native boasted that Chicago-style pizza was better than the New York slices he sampled this weekend.
As the show progressed, Lynch's story was told to the nation. His record-setting performances, fantastic runs and incredible passing abilities were on display for all to see. His biggest champion in the last month of the season, 1991 Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, was effusive in his praise of the Huskie signal caller.
After all the hype, hoopla and suspense, the winner was announced. Lynch went to New York with the mindset he enters every game with, winning. Unfortunately, Lynch's name wasn't called. While he didn't get to take home the hardware, he couldn't be disappointed. Lynch took third place, the highest finish by a Mid-American Conference player and tied Colt Brennan for the highest finish by a non-AQ player in the BCS era. Not bad for a guy who told over and over again that he couldn't play quarterback at the Division I level.
December 14, 2013 | 4:46 p.m. (ET)
After missing the Heisman Welcome Reception due to a stomach bug, NIU Heisman finalist Jordan Lynch was back at it early this morning. Another stop at the ESPN DirecTV bus, then over to the Best Buy Theatre for a walk through for tonight's ceremony.
The theatre was set up with the portraits of past Heisman winners. NIU Associate Athletic Director for Communications Donna Turner pulled Lynch aside to take a photo in front of the portrait of Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward. Turner was here in New York 1993 when she was the media relations contact for Florida State and successfully promoted Ward to the trophy.
Following rehearsal, Lynch and all six Heisman finalists, Alabama's A.J. McCarron finally made it to New York, headed to CBS Sports' studios to tape some segments with the CBS Sports College Football crew. Prior to taping, Tim Brando recalled fondly, "Tim Brando Day" in DeKalb back in 1990.
Lynch, hoped back in the SUV and returned to the Marriott where he met up with his family for lunch and then to relax before the night's ceremony.
LYNCH'S DAY IN PICTURES
December 14, 2013 | 1:09 a.m. (ET)
Time to put the words of Lynch's day to pictures. Check out the photo gallery below of Lynch's first day in New York.
December 13, 2013 | 6:03 p.m. (ET)
After an early morning, Lynch and his fellow Heisman finalists had a busy afternoon of media opportunities before getting a brief rest prior to some evening activities.
The Heisman folks treated the finalists and their families and university officials to some of New York's finest family-style Italian fare at Tony Napoli's Restaurant, located just a few blocks from the Marriott Marquis. The trek across a mass of people through Times Square was brief and Lynch blended in with any local. NIU's quarterback was plenty hungry as the plates of veal parmigiana, spaghetti and meatballs, sausage and peppers, cheese ravioli and more were passed around the table. His parents, Jim and Sheila, enjoyed the people-watching nearly as much as the food.
After a brief stop back at the hotel, Lynch and his fellow finalists were greeted by a full contingent of media during the press conference.
Lynch, Boston College's Andre Williams and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M rotated between three tables surrounded by the national media and Huskie beat reporters Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune and Steve Nitz of the Daily Chronicle as well as Rockford TV stations WTVO and WREX. Questions ranged from who he would vote for to win the Heisman, how he got to NIU and who helped him get to this point. The two questions Lynch received the most were, "Have you gotten to know the other finalists," and "How did you hear about being a Heisman finalist?"
His answer to the former question became shorter and shorter each time he was asked and he developed a standard answer for the later. "With all the different flight schedules, I haven't really had a chance to meet the other guys," Lynch said.
Following the media opportunity, the other two candidates in New York (Alabama QB A.J. McCarron has not arrived in N.Y. yet) stopped by for a group photo with the Heisman Trophy and individual posed shots with the most famous trophy in sports. When Lynch was done with his photos, he was handed a cell phone to do a series of radio interviews. As Lynch was whisked away to the ESPN DirecTV bus, still on the phone doing an interview, the other two finalists took their turns through the media tables, while his parents were having the time of their lives, posing with the Heisman Trophy.
Lynch, Manziel and Williams each spent time chatting with the Worldwide Leader back in Bristol from the traveling television studio parked outside the Marriott. Lynch and Manziel laughed about a misunderstanding during the media opportunity when Lynch joked that he thought Johnny Lattner carries his Heisman Trophy everywhere he goes, and a reporter thought he was referring to Manziel. (Lynch took a photo with Lattner and the Heisman Trophy when he was in sixth grade.)
As Lynch waited his turn on the hot seat, he looked outside and saw his family taking pictures outside the bus, smiled and said, "I think my dad is enjoying this more than me."
With less than two hours `til the next round of activities, Lynch finally headed to his hotel room for a well-deserved rest.
NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
December 13, 2013 | 1:25 p.m. ET
Jordan Lynch's journey to New York City for this weekend's Heisman Trophy ceremony got a bit of an early start. A 2:45 a.m. wake up greeted the Huskie Heisman hopeful in what turned out to basically be a nap for the senior quarterback. Following a 7 p.m. practice Thursday night, Lynch came home to do a couple loads of laundry before going to bed at 12:45 a.m. You would expect a college kid getting up well before the sun to be a little groggy and tired, but not Lynch. He was excited for the weekend and couldn't wait to get to New York.
Lynch and the NIU travel party departed the Convocation Center parking lot a little after 3:30 a.m. for the drive to O'Hare Airport to catch a 5:56 a.m. flight to New York's LaGuardia Airport. When he got to the terminal, Lynch was joined by his family as the group snaked their way through the check-in and security lines. Following a short hour and 30 minute flight, Lynch and the traveling party landed in New York.
At the airport, a representative of the Heisman Trust greeted Lynch, his family and members of the NIU contingent. As they waited for their bags, many in the travel party were talking about the early start to the day, Lynch just grinned saying, "It's all worth it." When Lynch and his family reached the hotel they headed up to the hospitality suite and took in the spectacular views of the Big Apple.
Lynch and the other Heisman finalists grabbed lunch together at a local restaurant. This afternoon, Lynch has a press conference at 2:30 p.m., the Wendy's High School Heisman Dinner, a sightseeing tour of New York City and a welcome reception closes out his first day in New York.