USC’s hottest and most viral sensation: kicker Denis Lynch

The spelling on the shirt didn’t matter, only that it looked cool. So Denis Lynch bought it.

The thought of the red-haired red-shirted freshman behind an outfit that will soon go viral is as simple as the slogan printed on the black t-shirt he wore during a game against Fresno State . The simple phrase easily captures the unique influence of the USC kicker on campus.

“I’m Dennis doing Dennis things.”

With his memorable fashion statements and consistent kicking, Lynch has become an unexpected favorite on a championship vying side. The roster has enough multi-star rookies to fill the sky at a Pac-12 after a grim game, but fans celebrate a modest 5-foot-8 kicker with freckles and a curly mop of hair every week. redhead in hopes of getting Lynch a scholarship.

As his home game outfits become go-tos for USC’s social media team, Lynch embraces his newfound cult hero status with an “aw shucks” charm that belies what snapper Jac Casasante called sneaky competitiveness.

“He’s one of the most competitive people on this football field,” said the fifth-year specialist. “He’s very passionate and outspoken about the things he wants to be better at.”

Lynch is perfect on his conference-leading 37 extra-point attempts and eight of 10 on field goals as No. 12 USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12 Conference) hopes to stay in the game to the conference championship after losing a heartbreak to Utah. Lynch’s rise to become a title-challenging side’s top scorer comes less than four years into his kicking career.

A multi-sport athlete at Newbury Park, Lynch didn’t make the transition to football until his freshman year. He admitted never having watched the sport – mostly football-focused – but realized he had a future on the grill during his senior year. The left-footed kicker scored 33 of 35 extra points in two years of high school football, including a perfect 10 of 10 as a senior. He accepted an offer to walk to USC in 2021 despite a crowded roster that included returning starter Parker Lewis and veteran veteran Alex Stadthaus.

When the Trojans signed Lynch, punter Will Rose received a text message in the specialized newsgroup about the new addition. He saw a picture of a 5ft 6in pale child with a full head of curly red hair.

“Who is this guy? Rose wondered skeptically.

“Then he came in and hit the ball really well and I was like, ‘He’s someone who can start on this football team,'” Rose said. “Less than a year later, he starts in the football team.”

Lynch won the starting spot this season after Lewis transferred to Ohio State and he beat Stadthaus, who went six-for-six on field goals and 11-for-11 on extra points. last year.

Entering the competition during pre-season camp, director of player relations Gavin Morris reminded Lynch that he only had one job. The kicker asked, just to confirm, what exactly it was.

“‘Hit the ball through the uprights,'” Lynch recalled Morris telling him. “So I guess that was kind of my approach. Just kick the ball through the uprights and whatever happens, happens.

Halfway through the season, Lynch is still unsure what he did to get past Stadthaus, who are still handling kickoffs.

Ask Rose what separates Lynch, the junior redshirt starter said it was his consistency and work ethic. Any failure in practice is met with frustrated pleas from Lynch for an immediate resumption. The kicker lines up for the next before the ball is even spotted.
“This kid is not only here because he’s good, but he actually wants to be the best at kicking,” Casasante said.

The tight-knit trio maintains a dedicated group chat outside of the larger specialist chat. Rose and Casasante, who made their college debut this year with Lynch in USC’s season opener against Rice, are also the kicker’s main fashion mentors, offering encouragement and props. The black cowboy hat over Lynch’s red curls before the Washington State game was Casasante’s suggestion, and the long snapper lent him the sunglasses to complete a cowboy-chic outfit that included a black turtleneck sweater with long sleeves and denim overalls.

Lynch admits he’s far from a fashion icon. On typical days, he can be found roaming campus in his sweatpants, t-shirts and slides, but he beefed up his attire on game day after a key motivation.

“I don’t have any fashion pictures of me and my mom was like, ‘You should have better pictures of yourself,'” Lynch said. “My mom wanted me to look beautiful, so I said OK.”

Lynch is the star of many images capturing his walk down the runway on the stairs of the Colosseum. After the success of his “Dennis doing things Dennis” shirt, the kicker waits for a “Dennis the menace” shirt to arrive in the mail and plans to wear it despite the film’s titular character using a different spelling than the name of Lynch.

When Lynch learned the players had to “dress smart” for USC’s home opener against Rice, he grabbed his long-sleeved turtleneck, black pants and black belt with a gold Batman buckle. . He finished the look with a thin chain.

USC kicker Denis Lynch is congratulated by teammates after scoring a field goal against Fresno State at the Coliseum on September 17.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

“Heat stroke is temporary” a Twitter account wrote after Los Angeles weathered a historic heatwave that pushed temperatures near 100 degrees over the weekend. “The drip is forever.”

The pre-game tunnel walk has become more prominent in professional sports, with NBA, WNBA and NFL stars garnering as much social media attention with their fashion statements as their highlights of the game. game. With the trend spreading through the college ranks, this is another opportunity for name, image and likeness deals, said USC wide receiver Mario Williams.

“Everyone has their own style,” the catcher said. “It’s a way to show your style and show how you dress.”

Rose, who is sticking to the vintage USC clothing theme with Casasante, rocked a USC club hockey jersey. Williams focuses on unique pieces that help it stand out. Lynch buys exclusively from Amazon.

Lynch bought her jumpsuit online for $37 after seeing fans on College Game Day wearing an oversized bright striped jumpsuit. He completed the look with black Air Force Ones, which are famous in sneaker-obsessed circles as the shoe of those who do no good.

Although no teammate reacted in the moment – Lynch felt they were all locked in preparations for the match – he was also not pushed back much later, although it raised some eyebrows on social networks.

“I think everyone just accepted,” Lynch said, “that it’s Denis.”

Luz W. German