NIU's Lynch first-team All-American

DeKALB – The honors keep coming for Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. After taking third place in the Heisman Trophy balloting Saturday in New York, Lynch on Tuesday was named to The Associated Press All-America first-team.

Lynch made the squad as an all-purpose player. Florida State’s Jameis Winston, the Heisman Trophy winner, was named first-team quarterback. Lynch is the first Huskie to earn first-team honors since LeShon Johnson in 1993.

The senior from Chicago will cap off his Huskies career Dec. 26 in the Poinsettia Bowl on in San Diego. Lynch has 4,557 total yards on the season, and If he rushes for 119 yards against Utah State, he’ll reach the 2,000 plateau.

NIU safety Jimmie Ward earned a spot as a third-team safety. Ward is only the third Huskie, along with Garrett Wolfe (2006) and Todd Peat (1986), to make the third team. Lynch (2012) and Michael Turner (2003) have been second-teamers.

Ward leads the Huskies with 89 tackles and six interceptions.

“It was a goal for me. I’ve been talking about it since last year,” Ward said after Tuesday’s practice at the Chessick Center. “Didn’t care if it was first team, I just wanted All-American to get next to my name.”

The only other player from the Mid-American Conference on the squad was Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, who made the second team. Ward also was named to the SI.com All-America team Tuesday.

Lynch was named as an honorable mention selection and junior receiver Tommylee Lewis was chosen as an honorable-mention pick in the all-purpose category.