<
>

Lynch looks for balance while keeping edge

3/23/2012

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Aaron Lynch's freshman All-American campaign last fall featured team-bests of 14 quarterback hurries and 5.5 sacks. It also featured six penalties.

Don't expect a decrease in any of those numbers, the 6-foot-6, 270-pound pass-rusher warned Friday.

"The thing is, honestly, every year I’m going to get some yellow flags, because that's the way I play football," Lynch said in his first meeting with reporters since September. "That's my intensity. It happens. I'm not going to go intentionally do it, but the next 2-3-4 years I'm going to get more yellow flags."

As he prepares for his second season at Notre Dame, the early-enrollee from a year ago is looking to build on a remarkable rookie campaign while finding himself more at peace with the Notre Dame environment, one vastly different from his hometown of Cape Coral, Fla., in both culture and weather, though mother Alice and her home-cooking are now just three hours away following a move to Ohio.

"I'd rather be in a different environment as in weather and stuff, but I’ve got no choice. I'm here, so I've got to stay here," Lynch said before expressing his pleasure with a relatively mild winter compared to last year's, when a snowstorm forced campus to shut down on national signing day.

"I thought it was a great winter actually between the one when I came in with all that snow," he said. "And this one was just like regular snow. I'm fine with that."

The numbers on the field from 2011, which included 33 tackles and seven tackles for loss, did not come as a surprise to Lynch, who said he knew what he was capable of when first joining the Irish. He admitted to being childish upon arrival, but he has since learned to accept coaching much more.

Lynch did, however, outdo himself in the classroom, praising academic counselors Colleen Ingelsby and Adam Sargent for pushing him off the field.

"Adam and Colleen are always on you, even though they annoy you, they help you do what you got to do, so therefore, I didn't think I was going to do good, but they came with it," Lynch said.

Lynch said he hopes to major in poetry and literature, and he enjoys writing his girlfriend poems all the time.

His description of playing on the same line as Stephon Tuitt -- another ballyhooed end who added two sacks and five hurries as a freshman last season -- likely sounded less than heart-warming to opposing quarterbacks who will be forced to face the duo for at least two more seasons.

"We both have the same mindset," Lynch said. "We both have an intensity to go out there and kill. That's how we get along."