Jordan Lynch is featured in a full-page ad in Chicago Tribune

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Northern Illinois senior quarterback Jordan Lynch will be in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, and the school thanked him with a full-page ad in Friday's Chicago Tribune.

The ad appeared on page 2 of the Tribune's sports section and referred to Lynch as "Chicago's Heisman finalist." Northern Illinois is in DeKalb, which is about 60 miles west of Chicago.

Lynch is one of six players invited to Saturday's Heisman presentation. He finished seventh in last year's Heisman voting. The highest finish by a player outside the six major conferences of late is third place, by Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan in 2007.

The ad was a classy gesture by the school, which obviously is happy Lynch's great season has provided a ton of national attention on the football program. MAC programs generally don't have Heisman candidates; until last season, the last time a MAC player had finished in the top 10 was Ball State quarterback Nate Davis in 2008 (he was eighth). Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is a lock to win the Heisman, but Lynch has a legit shot at a top-five finish. Still, thanking a player before the announcement is better than thanking him after he finishes fourth or fifth.

Lynch has rushed for 1,881 yards, which is a FBS single-season record for a quarterback, and he has a shot in the Poinsettia Bowl at becoming the first quarterback in NCAA history at any level to rush for 2,000 and pass for 2,000 in the same season. NIU plays Utah State in the Dec. 26 bowl game.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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