Penn State Football: Lynch Happy Just Playing His Part In The Nittany Lion Offense
September 22, 2013 4:20 PM
by Ben Jones
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Everybody wants to be "the guy." That's why athletes play the game. It's just the same for Penn State running back Akeel Lynch who has found himself third in Penn State's running back rotation.

But for Lynch, he's happy with how his role is playing out. He has 32 carries, a touchdown to his name, 263 yards under the belt plus two games over the century mark. The season may only be four games old but Lynch has provided Penn State with a talented third option in the running back corps.

"I've just got to be ready with whatever the team needs me for. I'm a competitor but I'm a teammate first. So when these guys are hot I'm going to cheer them on and listen to what they have to say," Lynch says. "When my time comes up I've got to be ready. I know my opportunity is definitely going to come but if a guy is hot I'm going to make sure that they're giving him the ball too."

When Lynch finally does get his time to shine later in the game he has made the most of it. Averaging just over 8.2 yards a carry he has become the final punch in the three man running back haymaker. What does Lynch look for to get these successful runs almost every down? A lot of things.

"When I watch out there, I definitely watch the front. I worry more about what's going on with the blitzes because when you run the ball you can't see from their perspective and see what kind of holds they see. So I always go over there with "hey what kind of front are they running, what kind of blitz are they bringing?"

With a season behind him on the dirty show -- An O'Brienism for practice squad -- Lynch has to stay healthy if he wants to continue to his play on the show that really matters.

"Just have to make sure to keep up with all your bumps and bruises," Lynch said. "You really have two weeks to recover from any injuries you might have, so it's a great time to really recover and get fresh again."

It will be interesting to see how Lynch's role unfolds throughout the season. Zwinak is unlikely to be unseated as the primary back and Belton fills a special role in the offense. Even so Lynch could continue to find his place in the offense in earlier stages of the game.

"You're right about him only getting in during the third quarter," head coach Bill O'Brien said after the game. "I think it was more because of the lack of offensive production. I think what we try to do is go every two series with those guys and it just didn't work out to get him in there earlier. We'll continue to look at that. It's great for him to go in there. I know it sounds redundant, but he's just an awesome kid. He's from Canada and Buffalo and just works extremely hard. He had a great offseason. I'm just very, very happy to see him do well."

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