Lutzenkirchen Explains Decision on AU

Four-star Lassiter High School tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen explains his decision to commit to Auburn.

Marietta, Ga.—Some people say the difference between Auburn and Clemson is that Clemson has a lake. In Philip Lutzenkirchen's case, the lake was a big draw for the Tigers of the ACC. However, in the end it was the coaches and atmosphere that Auburn offered which won out for Lutzenkirchen's verbal commitment on Friday night.

"It came down to Auburn and Clemson," he explains. "Stanford was in it, but distance became a factor. The main reason I liked Clemson was because of the lake. We've got a lake house up there. When I kind of factored everything in, that was the only reason. The coaches and everything were nice, the facilities were nice, but the main factor was the lake. I met the coaches down at Auburn and they're just awesome. I felt at home."

A trio of Auburn coaches, Don Dunn, Steve Ensminger and Tony Franklin were involved in Lutzenkirchen's recruitment. With a talent for catching passes from his tight end position, Franklin's spread offense was "definitely a big factor too," according to Lutzenkirchen. However, the biggest factor was family atmosphere around the football program on the Plains.

The tight end gets a hug from his mother while his sisters and father make the commitment announcement a family affair.

"I went down there for junior day and I knew right after that," he explains. "The whole event that we went through, I kind of knew that's where I wanted to be. At A-Day there were probably 45,000 fans. Just to see that for a spring game was awesome. I got excited and fell in love with Auburn.

"Also I've got a couple of good friends that go to school down there," Lutzenkirchen adds. "They've been pushing me, but at the same time they're my friends and they wanted what was best for me and what I want to do. That definitely helped in my decision."

Stanford was also heavily pursuing Lutzenkirchen and he took a visit recently to Palo Alto, Calif., to check out the Cardinal program. "You can't really beat a Stanford education," he notes. "My parents wanted me to go out there and look at that. In the back of my head I was kind of hesitant about Stanford the whole time because it's so far away and I wouldn't see my family.

"We've kind of followed Clemson because of our lake house up there so they really liked Clemson, plus we'd have a place to stay up there for the games. But (my parents) always said it was what I wanted to do and what I felt was best. Auburn is pretty much Clemson, but in the opposite direction down south. Plus it's in the SEC. You can't beat the SEC."

Lutzenkirchen's spring training at Lassiter High School wrapped up on Friday night with a scrimmage, but he was unable to play while nursing a groin. However, he hopes to be healthy by June to participate at Auburn senior camps and passing camps.

When asked why he decided to commit early in the process, Lutzenkirchen responded, "I'm 100 percent Auburn. I already know where I want to go."

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