Coach: Lutzenkirchen A "Great Fit" At Auburn

Lassiter High School coach Chip Lindsey comments on Philip Lutzenkirchen, Auburn's latest commitment.

Marietta, Ga.—After serving a successful tenure as offensive coordinator for the Hoover (Ala.) Buccaneers, Chip Lindsey took over as head coach at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga., on Feb. 1st.

As a client of "The Tony Franklin System," Lindsey inherited the perfect fit at tight end for the system in Philip Lutzenkirchen.

On Friday night Lutzenkirchen committed to Auburn where he is expected to play for Tony Franklin--the man not the system. Lutzenkirchen, another Scout.com four-star prospect, is the eighth verbal commitment to Auburn for the class of 2009.

"I think he'll fit great in that system and he's going to fit great in our system," Lindsey tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. "We run the same thing that Auburn's doing and I think it's going to be a great fit for him.

"He went down there and sort of fell in love with the place," the coach notes. "Tony was hired there and I think it's a great match and I think he's going to be really happy there.

"It's the exact same terminology," Lindsey continues. "I've known Tony for about five years now and I've just really enjoyed getting to know him. This system is exciting and fun. It's like anything else, if you're an option guy then you believe in what you do there. For us, we're a spread team and we believe in what we're going to do."

Lutzenkirchen has had a pulled groin for much of the spring, but his ball-catching skills immediately caught the eye of Lindsey before he got hurt in the third practice. The tight end made his announcement at the Trojans' spring game Friday night, but was unable to play because of the injury.

"Ball catching, being able to make plays, ball skills--those are the things that he does the best," Lindsey states. "Also he's a student of the game. He's really done a good job of learning this offense."

While Lutzenkirchen's skills are best suited for the passing game of the spread, there's also a coaching connection to Auburn in the running phase of playing the tight end position.

"If I had one thing (Lutzenkirchen needs to improve) I'd say it would be attaching in run blocking," Lindsey says, "but a lot of that is just because he played defense through his sophomore year. He really played only one year of tight end, last year as a junior. Philip is the kind of kid and he's got the ability and he's going to do what you tell him to do and what you teach him to do.

"We're definitely going to spend some time with him blocking," Lindsey continues. "We hired a great offensive line coach from Hoover who was with me, a guy named Toney Pugh, and he'll do a great job. He's a great guy and he's (Auburn offensive tackle) Ryan (Pugh)'s dad. We're going to make sure we spend a lot of time with our tight ends with the O-line so they can learn to do some things from a traditional tight end standpoint."

Lutzenkirchen would likely fit into Franklin's spread system at Auburn like Tommy Trott did this spring. However, his high school coach is hoping for big things out of the tight end as a senior at Lassiter High this fall.

"I had watched a lot of tape on him--his highlights tape and his game tape from last year," Lindsey says of his first impressions. "The first that that stood out about him is that he has great ball skills. He could really adjust to the football and he caught the ball with his hands. That was one of the first things I noticed.

"Just to be as big as he is, he's very athletic. The more I've gotten to know Philip the last three months, I just thing he's an outstanding person. He's got great character, he does all of the things you want a player to do and I think he'll be a really big leader for our football team."


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