Penn State Player Spotlight: Akeel Lynch
As a redshirt freshman in 2013, Lynch appeared in nine games and boasted 358 rushing yards on 60 carries, the third best on the team. Lynch also earned an impressive bragging right when he became the 32nd Penn State running back to rush for 100 yards in the same game. Although Lynch had an undoubtedly strong season as a freshman, no one could have predicted how successful the rest of his career as a Nittany Lion would be.
Lynch was immediately a force in 2014 as a redshirt sophomore when he appeared in all 13 games and started two. His first career start was against Maryland, when the famed “no handshake” incident occurred, sparking somewhat of a rivalry between Penn State and Maryland. Selected as an Offensive Player of the Week, and rightfully so, Lynch led the team in with 678 rushing yards and 147 carries. One of the greatest highlights of Lynch’s career came during the Michigan State game (11/29) when he scored the sole touchdown for Penn State.
Looking ahead to this fall, Lynch is expected to be one of the most impactful members of the squad. Lynch has said time and time again how dedicated he is to this team. In fact, when many players left in the wake of the Sandusky scandal to pursue other scholarships, Lynch stayed true to Penn State and clung to the morals of Penn State football that he has always known to be true: honesty, community, communication, and trustworthiness. Largely in part to his unwavering dedication to the Nittany Lions, Lynch is frequently looked up to by new players and returners alike for daily inspiration and motivation.
Fans can expect to see Lynch’s speed and agile skills come into play in a big way this season. Head coach James Franklin has recently voiced his confidence in Lynch for 2015, as well as the entire squad of running backs. When Lynch is not making big plays on the field, he is making huge impacts in the lives of others. As the team’s compliance manager for Uplifting Athletes, Lynch helps the Nittany Lions raise money every year for kidney cancer research. The organization has raised over $1 million so far and looks forward to continuing their outreach efforts. Likewise, Lynch is known as one of the most humble and well-humored players. With a mother who supports him endlessly and with a personality that is always ready to laugh, Lynch is one of the best-rounded players on and off the field.
Coach Franklin once said, “One of the things I think