His team was right on the doorstep of a state championship. Jack Lynn and Lake Zurich gave incoming Illinois quarterback Reilly O'Toole and his Wheaton Warrenville South squad all they could handle in the 7A state title game in Champaign last November. The game went right down to the wire, but Wheaton pulled out the win.
Despite falling just short, Lynn still holds a positive view of the run, especially when he recollects all of the hard work that went into the effort.
"As a team, I think we wanted to win state. That was our goal, to get to state and be relentless. Our coach pushes us to do that, and we accomplished that. A lot of what made us good was the basics and just focusing on the little things."
Lynn plays both ways for Lake Zurich. He's a tight end and receiver on offense, and he plays linebacker on defense. At 6'-3" 215 pounds, he has the size to be an impact player on either side of the ball.
"I think my size really helped me succeed a lot. Especially on pass plays and slant routes since I could be physical with the defender. "
Despite finding success on offense, Lynn's natural inclination is toward defense. His physical style and tenacious play make him a force at linebacker.
"I'm more geared to defense I think. Probably outside linebacker. I'm really aggressive in getting to the football, and I really like hitting people."
Lynn pays attention to detail and knows how little things can make the difference between a good and great player.
"I need to get better with my hip movement and backpedaling into sprints. A lot of little things."
If you ever encounter Lynn off the field, he's a personable and social guy. But when he straps on the pads and puts on the helmet, that all changes.
"I'm a nice guy off the field, but I think a lot of people don't expect me to be a mean guy on the field."
Lynn puts himself through a rigorous training regimen. The work is tough, but he knows it will all pay off down the line.
"We work like dogs. I do a lot of linebacker-specific drills. I think those are really going to help me."
Just now starting to get out on the road, Lynn has his eye on a broad array of things when investigating colleges. Most important to him though is team chemistry.
"I'm really looking for team bonding. That's my main thing. Is the team good with each other. The campus is another big deal. Definitely the food too. Academics will be a factor too, once I figure out what I want to major in."
This spring, Lynn has been hearing from a lot of schools in the Midwest, including a couple of Big Ten schools.
"So far Michigan State, Illinois, Wyoming, Air Force, and Western Michigan are the main ones."
Western Michigan is his lone offer, but with potentially strong performances at summer camps, he could net himself more offers, including one from Illinois.
"It's pretty much how I perform at camps this June. Schools want to see me move around. That's the situation at this point. I think I'm pretty confident that some will offer."
Receiving more offers would certainly give Lynn more options, but he isn't looking to let his recruitment be a distraction. First and foremost, he wants to go out on a high note this fall and focus on his team.
"It would kind of affect me, but I'd want to see where I am and go from there. I kind of want to decide sometime in June if I can. I'd like to get it out of the way pretty early so I don't have to worry about it."
Lynn visited Illinois for the Spring Game April 23rd with his mother. He came away feeling good about the vibe in Chambana.
"I really liked it a lot. Champaign-Urbana is a great town. I really liked the Campustown atmosphere."
Lynn also got a chance to meet up with his recruiting coach Joe Gilbert. Both are excited about him camping with the Illini and showing them what he can do.
"Coach Gilbert has been the one talking to me the most. He seems really interested in me. Right now, he's really serious about me coming to camp and seeing what I can do."
Lynn saw three other schools this spring and had generally good remarks for all three.
"I also saw Bowling Green, Western Michigan and Michigan State. They were all pretty good visits."
Lake Zurich brings back a lot of talent from last season. Lynn will arguably have to step up and be the man on defense this year, but he's confident they can reload and make another run.
"Our quarterback is a junior, and much of the secondary is juniors. The line is the question mark right now. We want to make it back and get on the big stage again."