Georgia Tech’s Clinton Lynch a Pure Playmaker
By BJ Bennett
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You can clearly say Clinton Lynch makes the most of his opportunities.
There may not be a more unique player in all of college football than Georgia Tech's Clinton Lynch. Here's why; the metro Atlanta-native averaged a mind-boggling 11.2 yards per rush and an unfathomable 30.6 yards per reception last season, compiling over 900 offensive yards and eight touchdowns as an almost-unrivaled big-play threat. Lynch didn't win any postseason awards a year ago, instead he just changed a game nearly every time he touched the football.
An A-back by position, Lynch ran for a game-tying score on a 45-yard burst at Pittsburgh last fall and opened the afternoon with a 42-yard dash for a touchdown in a one-point triumph at Georgia. He topped 80 yards as a receiver five separate times as a sophomore, scoring twice, including the game-winning 21-yard catch, in a three-point victory over Duke. Among others, Lynch reached the endzone on touchdowns of 77 yards against Vanderbilt, 65 yards versus Georgia Southern and 83 yards at North Carolina.
Such home run ability, for Lynch, was nothing new. He broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run on his very first carry against an FBS opponent. Lynch, a month later, caught a 50-yard strike for a score in a showdown with top-five Clemson. Down the home stretch of his freshman season, Lynch reached the endzone five total times in three conference games. That fall, he led all Georgia Tech field players in scoring.
Lynch, only becoming even more-dynamic with experience, had a play of at least 20 yards in each of the Yellow Jackets' final nine games in 2016, recording a gain of at least 40 yards in seven different contests. In every single outing where he received more than five touches this past year, he produced a gain of at least 27 yards. Furthermore, Lynch has either scored or recorded a play of more than ten yards in 24 of 25 career games; the one time he didn't, he touched the football just once.
Consider these numbers: for his career, Lynch is averaging 10.3 yards per carry on 86 rushes and 28.2 yards per catch on 27 receptions. With 16 touchdowns in two years, he has scored touchdowns roughly one out of every 12 times he runs the rock and exactly one out of every three times he catches it. By mathematical definition, give him the football seven times and he will, quite literally, get you six.
Pundits have long struggled to quantify momentum in sports; for Georgia Tech, it has worn number 49 and 22.
Overall, Lynch's Yellow Jackets improved from three wins to nine from his freshman to sophomore seasons. He is one of the standout returnees for an experienced team, fresh off four victories in a row, that very well may be the summer favorite in the ACC Coastal Division. Lynch is a big reason why Georgia Tech moves forward with renewed confidence and high expectations.
You can clearly say Lynch makes the most of his opportunities. You could also say there isn't a player in the country quite like him.