Showing his Worth

Despite putting up huge numbers during his junior year, Auburn Hills linebacker D.J. Lynch still has generating a lot of interest, especially after missing most of his junior season with lingering health issues. Now with a clean bill of health, Lynch is out to prove he's not a one-hit wonder.

MADISON – Even with no scholarships to his name when he stepped on the field at Evanston High School, Auburn Hills (Mich.) Avondale linebacker D.J. Lynch had no shortage of confidence that he was one of the best linebackers at the combine.

After competing and performance in the wind and drizzle for over four hours, Lynch backed up his premonition at the Scout.com Chicago combine with a 4.69 40 time, a 4.96 in the short shuttle, a 4.85 in the three-cone and a 9-4 in the broad jump.

"I felt like I could compete there in the one-on-one competition," Lynch told Badger Nation. "I felt that I was coming in as one of the best players there and I left feeling that I was one of the best linebackers there. I felt like I was competing really well."

Two months later and fresh off camps at Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin and Central Michigan, Lynch is still confident that he can compete with the best, and has his first scholarship from Bowling Green to further motivate his efforts, although he didn't need much pushing in the first place.

Only playing five full games last year because of lingering cramping and dehydration problems, Lynch still racked up 80 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four sacks and two fumble recoveries. With coaches unsure of his skills because of his injuries, Lynch has been out to show that those injuries were a fluke and his numbers are for real.

"Coaches tell me that they want to meet in person before they offer me and that I have to come to some camps in the summer time to get evaluated," Lynch said. "A lot of coaches want to see how I react in space."

While the Bowling Green offer validates his abilities, Lynch has his sights set on getting some offers from the Big Ten, a conference that Lynch feels is a strong test for playing with agility and smarts.

"The linebackers in the Big Ten don't have to have the top speed to be successful," he said. "They are hitters, know when to pass rush or when to drop back in coverage, smart players. I like to think that I felt that mold."

Since getting back from his camps, Lynch's offseason workout regimen has been tough and grueling, and he knows that it will help produce great results.

"I've been able to do some of my workouts at the Pontiac Silverdome," he said. "I've been doing agility drills and working on keeping my cardio at the maximum level. I feel like these drills will help improve his overall speed and get off blocks quicker."

Although Lynch has so far only received one official offer, there are several schools that he's interested in and that are at the top of his list.

"Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue, Wisconsin, Boston College along with Bowling Green are all at the top of my list." said Lynch.

Lynch has visited those schools except for Bowling Green, which he hopes he will be able to schedule a visit for them soon. When it comes to Wisconsin and his thoughts, Lynch has a very positive opinion about them.

"They are definitely in my top five and have shown me a lot of interest," said Lynch. "I was able to talk to the defensive line coach (Charlie Partridge) and he seemed like he cares about me as a person and my life and not just the football aspect."

Lynch has also spent a lot of time talking to Wisconsin wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander. Alexander, who is in his third cycle recruiting the state of Michigan, has been recruiting Lynch since April and Lynch has been appreciative of the personable conversations.

"I talk to Coach DelVaughn Alexander all the time," Lynch said. "He came to my school last month and I liked talking to him. I try to give him a call once a week to just talk about things. He always wants to know how my baseball season is going, how my grades are, how the family is doing, things like that. He's a great guy to talk to."

While most prospects spend the offseason in the weight room conditioning their bodies for football, Lynch takes a different approach. Playing left field for the school's baseball team, Lynch is the ultimate power hitter, keeping his average around the .300 mark and using baseball as a training exercise in the process.

"It helps me train a little bit because I am always chasing ground balls, so I am working on my side to side speed," Lynch said. "It's different from being in the infield because I am not running that much, but it certainly helps and hitting helps my hand-eye coordination. I play some wide receiver, so I have always been a good catcher."

Lynch's immediate focus is on his team and getting ready for his senior season. In regards to a commitment to a school, Lynch has no date in mind and wants to see where things take him. If he doesn't receive any big offers in the coming months he will wait until the season ends. That way, he has the chance to show that he is more than just a talented linebacker.

"I really want to showcase my 40 speed and my ability to check a wide receiver or a running back," Lynch said. "I want to show the versatility that I can cover both of those positions. I am a hard-nose hitter. I have no problem going out to cover a receiver and I can almost come inside and battle in the trenches."

Badger Nation's Alex Ledbetter contributed to this report


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