Created: Friday, April 13, 2012 11:01 p.m. CST
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Quarterback Lynch cooks up plan for linemen

By ANTHONY ZILIS - sports@daily-chronicle.com
Jordan Lynch throws during NIU’s practice March 28 in DeKalb. Lynch replaces four-year starting quarterback Chandler Harnish. (Rob Winner – rwinner@shawmedia.com)

DeKALB – Jordan Lynch isn’t much of a cook – Northern Illinois right tackle Matt Krempel gathered that much living with the junior quarterback in the dorms during their freshman year.

That’s just one of the ways Lynch is different from the multi-skilled Chandler Harnish, who quarterbacked the Huskies for the past four years and grilled steak for the offensive line after games in which they didn’t allow a sack.

Still, Lynch said he’d try to reward his linemen, even if his culinary skills don’t match his quarterbacking skills.

“During the season, I’ll cook for them, whatever they want,” said Lynch, who will room with Krempel and injured linemen Jared Volk and Tyler Loos next year.

The new quarterback and the offensive line, which returns only one starter, certainly don’t lack chemistry.

Lynch played on the second string with the four new linemen last year, and the group developed a short-hand way of communicating.

“Since we were all on second string, we really had a bond. We speak our own language and we all understand each other really well. We’re all on the same wavelength,” Krempel said.

“[Lynch] was with us the whole year last year. We understand the way he works, the way he likes to do the snap count and everything like that.”

Senior Logan Pegram, who started at left guard last year, is one of the few linemen who has to adjust to new teammates alongside him.

“I could tell that they brought in chemistry. They have a bravado that they want to bring on,” Pegram said. “Bringing them in with Jordan, I’m trying to find a spot in their group almost.”

Coming into the season, coach Dave Doeren said Lynch had to become a vocal leader.

Pegram thinks he’s well on his way.

“He’s done a really great job. I didn’t know whether he was going to have that vocal leadership,” Pegram said.

“He has ‘it.’ You don’t know what ‘it’ is, but he has it.”

As a veteran of last year’s team, Pegram knows how important chemistry between a quarterback and an offensive line can be – Harnish was sacked only seven times last season.

He said it wouldn’t hurt if Lynch continued Harnish’s tradition of grilling for the linemen.

“We’ll have to get up under him and see what he’s thinking,” Pegram said with a smile. “We’ll have to see whether he wants to have a good season or not.”

While Lynch said he’d cook, Krempel is skeptical.

“He’s not a real big cook,” the junior said with a chuckle, “but we said that we’ll cook the food if he buys the meat.”

Does NIU coach Rod Carey get enough credit for NIU's season?
Yes
No