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College Football: A Guide to Local Players Who Are Going Bowling

Romeoville's Perez Ford and Bolingbrook's Dominique Ware work behind the scenes to bolster Heisman hopes of Northern Illinois University quarterback.

Jordan Lynch (6) leads NIU into the postseason with a 12-1 record. Credit: NIU Media Services
Jordan Lynch (6) leads NIU into the postseason with a 12-1 record. Credit: NIU Media Services

The following article was written by Patch Editor Michael Sewall:

A few days ago, college football teams found out where they would be playing bowl games this season, and there’s plenty of Chicago-area talent featured on the rosters.

Local teams Northern Illinois and Notre Dame won’t be going back to BCS bowls as they did last year, but they still have bowl games and local guys to watch. The Huskies have 20 area athletes on the roster, plus a bunch more from non-Patch towns, and Notre Dame features nine. Mount Greenwood native Jordan Lynch, who was named a Heisman Trophy finalist, easily had the best season of the bunch, leading the Huskies to a 12-1 record with 4,557 total yards and 45 touchdowns as a passing and rushing threat.

Romeoville's own Cameron Stingily is NIU's second-leading rusher. Stingily and Lynch teamed up to become the first two backs in NIU history to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing barrier in the same season.

Romeoville's Perez Ford and Bolingbrook's Dominique Ware also are a part of a Huskies' squad looking to become the school's first to win 13 games. And Bolingbrook's Jamel Martin plays for Bowling Green—the only team to defeat NIU.

There’s a lot of Big Ten representation as well, with local athletes on the roster for Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin.

Perhaps not surprisingly, 2012 Class 7A state champion Glenbard West has the most guys (six) on the list. Six athletes from Naperville are also on the list, with each one having attended a different high school.

And New Lenox native Jake Lembke, who attended Providence Catholic, is part of a team in the biggest game: He’s a deep snapper for the Auburn Tigers, who will play in the BCS National Championship against the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Florida State Seminoles.

See the full 2013-14 college football bowl schedule on ESPN.com.

Student-athletes featured in this article are from Patch towns or attended high schools in Patch towns, not all Chicago-area student-athletes. The sources used are the university athletics websites. If we missed anyone, give them a shoutout in the comments.

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