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Lynch is a Round Rock, Texas, native who turned down USC to play for head coach Matt Rhule at Baylor. The two-time All-District Defensive Lineman of the Year played in 11 games as a reserve his true freshman year with the Bears, recording 20 tackles, five for loss, and three sacks. He stepped into a starting role the following season, starting all 13 games and garnering second-team All-Big 12 notice by leading his squad with nine tackles for loss and five sacks (40 total tackles, two pass breakups, one blocked kick). Lynch was named first-team Associated Press All-American and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for his play as a junior. He led the Bears with 19.5 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, both numbers ranking in the top 10 nationally, while also breaking up five passes, causing three fumbles and blocking two kicks in 14 starts.