Auburn Tight End's Stock On the Rise

Comments from Jay Boulware and Brandon Fulse are featured in this Auburn football report.

Auburn, Ala.--Brandon Fulse says he is looking forward to being part of a tight ends group that he predicts will have an expanded role on the 2012 Auburn football team with Scot Loeffler in charge of the offense.

Fulse goes into the season listed as the co-No. 2 on the depth chart with C.J. Uzomah behind preseason All-SEC pick Philip Lutzenkirchen. Fulse says he will be a better player this fall.

"I have got a year under my belt and I know the game more," Fulse said. "The game is starting to slow down for me a lot.

"Last year, my freshman year, it was fast and my head was spinning," he recalls.

Jay Boulware, Auburn's tight ends coach, agrees with Fulse about the improvement.

"I feel like he had a really good camp and I'm anxious to see where he goes from here," Boulware said. "I want to see him produce and I have a lot of confidence in him. If I put a guy out there I feel like he can get it done, and I feel like Brandon can get it done."

Commenting on the how the tight ends are performing as a group as the Tigers into Saturday night's game vs. Clemson, Fulse said, "We're making improvements day by day. We're just taking it slow and learning the new offense. Coach Loeffler is still making us work hard and improve."

Brandon Fulse is shown at practice.

In Loeffler's offensive scheme the tight ends are expected to get the ball more thrown their way more often than last year, which is something Fulse said he has been preparing for after he dropped a pass against Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

"I was mad after that," he said. "During the summer, camp and even in practice, I just focused on the ball and try to work on my catching."

Fulse said without hesitation his hands have improved. He recorded just two catches for 12 yards last season and will be looking to blow past those totals early in the 2012 season.

In Loeffler's offense look for the Tigers to have two, and sometimes three, tight ends on the field at the same time. The one expected to be the main man is senior Philip Lutzenkirchen, a preseason All-SEC pick.

Fulse said Lutzenkirchen has been the leader of the group that also includes freshman Ricky Parks. "He tries to prepare the young tight ends," Fulse said. "He has to leave one day so he's just preparing us, getting us ready. My first year he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes and everything like that."

Boulware noted that he is pleased at how Fulse has developed going into his sophomore season. "He has really developed and I've been very pleased with where he's at in his second year," the coach said.

"To this point he's been probably the most developed guy that I've had in year two, more than any of the guys that I've had to this point in the running game phase of it," the coach added. "He's not the receiver that Lutz is, but he can catch the ball. He's been very effective at that this camp.

"I've been very pleased with Brandon," Boulware said. "He's been doing a nice job absorbing our offense, filling in for Lutz if I want to give Lutz a breather."

Kickoff time for the opener is shortly after 6 p.m. CDT Saturday from the Georgia Dome as the Tigers play 14th-ranked Clemson.

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