MAC quarterback rivals pushing for bigger things

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2014 at 2:20 am •  Published: February 20, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan Lynch and Keith Wenning have already forgotten about their college rivalry.

Today, the two quarterbacks find themselves working toward the same goal and pushing one another as training partners and friends.

Wenning wants to show NFL scouts he can make a smooth transition from Mid-American Conference star to the NFL, just like Ben Roethlisberger and Chad Pennington did before him. Lynch is trying to prove yet again that his smallish size won't be a detriment in a league that still tends to reward bigger bodies and bigger arms.

This week, they'll begin to find out just how close they are to making it in the NFL.

"I'm not going to measure in well, but I'm a football player," Lynch said recently as he prepared for the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Nobody knows that better than Wenning, who spent the last two seasons trying to help Ball State keep up with Lynch and Northern Illinois.

NFL scouts view their college days through a whole different prism. While the MAC has become a proven training ground for solid NFL quarterbacks over the past 15 years, players often get downgraded because of the level of competition.

That may not be the same case with these two.

Long before they came to Indy for pre-combine workouts at St. Vincent Sports Performance, they were already chasing the same goals — bowl bids and conference championships. Back then, Lynch had the upper hand. He led Northern Illinois to the last two league title games and the first BCS bowl bid for a MAC school, things he hasn't let Wenning forget.

"We got all that out of the way the first day," Lynch said with a chuckle when asked if he reminded Wenning of what happened during their college days. "There was smack talk going on at first, but that's over now."

Instead, they're focused on getting ready for the NFL draft. Over the next week, league scouts and team executives will be watching every move Wenning, Lynch and more than 300 other players make as they try to separate themselves in the pecking order.

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