Lutzenkirchen Looking To Commit Early

Marietta, Ga.—Lassiter High School tight end and linebacker Philip Lutzenkirchen is looking to make an early college decision and already has three favored colleges in mind.

"Auburn is probably my favorite right now along with Georgia Tech then Stanford," Lutzenkirchen says. "Those are my top three schools right now."

As for making a commitment, he adds, "I'm going to commit after my spring football is over with. We start May 5th and end I believe May 17th. I'm looking for definitely good football tradition and also somewhere that I can go, meet new people at get into a different atmosphere that I've been in."

Along with the offers from his three leaders, Lutzenkirchen has offers from Troy and Mississippi State. He hasn't made the cross-country trip to Palo Alto this spring, but has visited both Auburn and Georgia Tech more than once.

Lutzenkirchen was one of hundreds of prospects in town for Auburn's A-Day Game on March 27 and he also made the drive back to the Plains the following Wednesday for the Tigers' final scrimmage of the spring.

"I had been down there for a basketball camp before, a team camp, and that's really the only time I had been down there except for this past (March 27) weekend," he says of his A-Day visit. "It was like three years ago.

"My mom had never been down there so she wanted to get down there and see what the school was all about," he says. "She got to meet Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and we talked with him for about 15 minutes. That was really the first head coach that she had talked to and I think that really stood out to me along with how pretty the campus was. She had an all-around good time."

Lutzenkirchen spent a good deal of time on his visit with one of his friends, a freshman student at Auburn, but got a bit closer to the action with the football team on his second visit on Wednesday.

"I kind of surprised the coaches," he explains. "I don't think they were expecting me. I got to actually be on the sidelines with Coach (Steve) Ensminger and he taught me some of the plays and some of the signals. It was a cool experience being so close to the action."

Lutzenkirchen plays both ways for Lassiter in Marietta, Ga., but is being recruited by Auburn as a tight end where Ensminger would be his position coach. He has also taken a liking to Auburn's new offense under Tony Franklin.

New head football coach at Lassiter High, Chip Lindsey, was the offensive coordinator until this offseason at Hoover High School, which was one of Franklin's clients.

"He's been the one I've been talking to on the phone," Lutzenkirchen says of Franklin, "but I've been talking with Coach Ensminger also. He's a good guy. I've also had a chance to talk with Coach (Don) Dunn, who is the recruiter for my area, Cobb County."

Lutzenkirchen, at 6-4 and 230 pounds, has played just one year of tight end in high school and has taken notice of Auburn's new spread offense. "It's definitely something that I'm interested in," he says. "One of the big things I like about Auburn is that they run the same spread offense that my high school runs and we have the exact same terminology. That's definitely one of the key things."

While Auburn has gone to the spread this year, Georgia Tech with its new head coach Paul Johnson has gone to a run-oriented offense. The Yellow Jackets are recruiting Lutzenkirchen to play on the defensive side of the ball.

"I've been to a couple of practices at Tech," he says. "I've been to Clemson, I've been to Georgia, pretty much just schools in the Southeast this spring.

"I just like their coaching staff," he adds of Georgia Tech. "They're really personable and straightforward. I just like coaches that aren't going to tell you something that's not true and that's kind of the same with Auburn. They just tell you how it is."

Does it matter to Lutzenkirchen if he plays offense or defense in college? "Not really," he responds. "I just want to be at a school that I can help win championships–conference and hopefully national–and whatever position they need me to play, I'll play."

Lutzenkirchen is being recruited by Georgia Tech coach Brian Bohannon to play linebacker/defensive end.

"This past year is my first year of ever playing tight end, so my sophomore year I started all 10 games on varsity as an outside linebacker," he says. "I played every snap of varsity this year on offense and defense playing linebacker and tight end.

"I had 46 receptions for 496 yards and seven touchdowns," he notes of his junior season. "On defense I had I think 49 solo tackles, one interception, a blocked punt and one defensive touchdown."

Lutzenkirchen has two more college visits coming up April 11th and 12th. "I'm supposed to go to Virginia Tech on Friday and Clemson on Saturday."



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